Skip to content
SuperMoney logo
SuperMoney logo

Tender Panels: Definition, Examples, and Best Practices

Last updated 05/09/2024 by

Daniel Dikio

Edited by

Fact checked by

Tender panels are a method of debt financing, commonly used in Europe, resembling a revolving underwriting facility (RUF). This approach involves forming groups of banks to solicit bids from lenders, providing borrowers with competitive financing options.

Tender panel definition

A tender panel, often associated with debt financing, particularly in Europe, functions similarly to a revolving underwriting facility (RUF). In the context of corporate financing, a tender panel is akin to a group of commercial and investment banks enlisted by a borrower to facilitate project financing. These panels operate on a best-efforts basis, soliciting bids from various lenders to secure the most favorable terms for the borrower.

Understanding tender panels

Tender panels serve as a mechanism for fundraising through short- and medium-term debt instruments. The process typically involves a two-step approach:
  • Firstly, a syndicate of banks collaborates to solicit bids from interested parties for the corporate loans required by the borrower.
  • Secondly, borrowers have the liberty to opt for the most cost-effective financing offered by the tender panel or choose the best available offer from the banking syndicate.
One of the primary purposes of tender panels is to distribute medium-term euro notes to a broad spectrum of investors, effectively diversifying the risk across multiple lenders. This approach enables borrowers to access a more extensive pool of potential lenders, particularly beneficial for institutions seeking streamlined access to capital markets, such as universities.

The role of tender panels

From the perspective of participating banks, tender panels represent both a selling agent and a gateway to new business opportunities. By engaging in tender panels, banks acquire the right, albeit not the obligation, to extend new corporate loans. This flexibility allows banks to adjust their lending activities based on prevailing market conditions and internal capital adequacy.
For instance, banks with surplus capital and a robust lending appetite can actively participate in tender panels, whereas those facing liquidity constraints may choose to remain on the panel without committing to specific fundraising rounds.

Example of tender panel

To illustrate the functioning of a tender panel, consider a hypothetical scenario:
A company seeks a short-term loan of 100,000 euros (EUR), prompting a bank to assemble a syndicate of institutions willing to provide the loan. Initially, the syndicate agrees upon a maximum interest rate for the loan.
In the subsequent stage, the arranging bank convenes a tender panel comprising additional institutions willing to augment the funds pledged by the syndicate members. The borrower then has the freedom to accept loans from tender panel participants offering the most competitive interest rates.
If none of the tender panel banks present acceptable interest rates, the borrower can resort to the initial banking syndicate for financing. Thus, tender panels empower borrowers to secure competitive rates while retaining the assurance of financing from the syndicate if preferable terms are unavailable elsewhere.

Pros and cons of tender panels

Here is a list of the benefits and drawbacks associated with tender panels.
  • Access to a broader pool of lenders
  • Diversification of funding sources
  • Potential for competitive interest rates
  • Complexity in managing multiple lenders
  • Potential for conflicting terms among lenders
  • Dependence on syndicate if tender panel offers are unsatisfactory

Benefits of tender panels

One of the significant advantages of tender panels is their ability to provide borrowers with access to a diverse range of lenders. This broad pool of potential financiers increases competition among lenders, thereby potentially leading to more competitive financing terms for the borrower. Additionally, tender panels facilitate the diversification of funding sources for borrowers, reducing their reliance on a single institution or source of financing. By spreading the risk across multiple lenders, borrowers can mitigate the impact of default or adverse market conditions on their financing arrangements.

Challenges and considerations

While tender panels offer numerous benefits, they also present certain challenges and considerations for both borrowers and participating banks. Managing relationships with multiple lenders can be complex and time-consuming for borrowers, particularly when dealing with conflicting terms or requirements among lenders. Additionally, borrowers may face increased scrutiny and due diligence requirements from participating banks, leading to delays or additional administrative burdens. Participating banks, on the other hand, must carefully evaluate the risk-return profile of tender panel opportunities, considering factors such as creditworthiness, market conditions, and regulatory requirements.

Real-life examples of tender panels

To illustrate the practical application of tender panels, let’s examine a real-life example:
ABC Corporation, a multinational conglomerate, intends to finance a major infrastructure project. To secure the necessary funding, ABC Corporation engages a consortium of banks to form a tender panel. The consortium includes both domestic and international banks, each with expertise in project financing and capital markets.
Over the course of several weeks, the tender panel solicits bids from a diverse range of lenders, including commercial banks, investment banks, and institutional investors. After careful evaluation and negotiation, ABC Corporation selects a subset of lenders offering the most favorable terms, including competitive interest rates, flexible repayment options, and favorable covenants.
With the financing secured through the tender panel, ABC Corporation proceeds with its infrastructure project, confident in its ability to access cost-effective capital from a reliable consortium of lenders.

Best practices for leveraging tender panels

To maximize the benefits of tender panels and mitigate potential challenges, borrowers and participating banks should adhere to best practices:
  • Conduct thorough due diligence on potential lenders, evaluating their financial strength, reputation, and track record in similar transactions.
  • Establish clear communication channels and expectations among all parties involved in the tender panel process, ensuring transparency and accountability.
  • Negotiate comprehensive financing agreements that address key terms and conditions, including interest rates, repayment schedules, and default provisions.
  • Maintain ongoing monitoring and oversight of tender panel arrangements, identifying and addressing any issues or discrepancies promptly.
  • Regularly review and reassess financing strategies and alternatives, adapting to changes in market conditions, regulatory requirements, and business priorities.


In conclusion, tender panels offer a versatile and efficient method for corporate borrowers to secure financing for various projects. By leveraging the collective resources of multiple lenders, borrowers can access competitive financing terms and diversify their funding sources. While tender panels present challenges such as managing multiple lenders and potential conflicts, adherence to best practices can mitigate these risks, ensuring successful fundraising outcomes.

Frequently asked questions

What are the typical terms of financing offered through tender panels?

The terms of financing offered through tender panels can vary depending on various factors such as market conditions, the creditworthiness of the borrower, and the prevailing interest rate environment. Typically, borrowers can expect to receive short- to medium-term financing with competitive interest rates and flexible repayment options.

Can any borrower utilize a tender panel for financing?

While tender panels offer a flexible and efficient method of fundraising, they may not be suitable for all borrowers. Typically, tender panels are utilized by corporate entities, institutions, and organizations seeking access to capital markets for project financing. Individual borrowers or small businesses may find alternative financing options more suitable for their needs.

How do banks benefit from participating in tender panels?

Banks participating in tender panels can benefit in several ways. Firstly, they have the opportunity to earn underwriting fees and commissions from facilitating corporate loans. Additionally, participating banks can expand their client base, strengthen relationships with borrowers, and gain insights into market trends and financing preferences.

What factors should borrowers consider when evaluating tender panel offers?

When evaluating tender panel offers, borrowers should consider various factors such as interest rates, repayment terms, fees, and the reputation and track record of participating lenders. It’s essential for borrowers to conduct thorough due diligence and compare multiple offers to ensure they secure the most favorable financing terms.

Are there any risks associated with participating in tender panels?

While tender panels offer numerous benefits, they also entail certain risks for both borrowers and participating banks. For borrowers, risks may include potential delays in securing financing, conflicts among participating lenders, and exposure to fluctuating market conditions. Participating banks may face risks related to creditworthiness, market volatility, and regulatory compliance.

Can tender panels be used for long-term financing?

Tender panels are primarily designed for short- and medium-term financing, typically ranging from a few months to several years. While they may not be suitable for long-term financing needs, borrowers can explore alternative financing options such as bond issuances, equity offerings, or traditional bank loans for extended funding requirements.

What role do financial advisors play in the tender panel process?

Financial advisors can play a vital role in the tender panel process by providing guidance and expertise to borrowers navigating the complexities of fundraising and capital markets. They can assist in structuring financing arrangements, evaluating tender panel offers, negotiating terms, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

Key takeaways

  • Tender panels facilitate fundraising through short- and medium-term debt instruments.
  • They provide access to a broader pool of lenders, diversifying funding sources.
  • Borrowers can secure competitive interest rates by leveraging tender panel bids.
  • Banks involved in tender panels serve as selling agents and sources of new business opportunities.

You might also like