Updated on March 26, 2024
Article byAswathi Jayachandran
Edited byAswathi Jayachandran
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is A Greensheet?

A Greensheet is an internal marketing document created by an underwriter. It outlines the major elements of an Initial Public Offering (IPO), follow-on offering (FPO), or a new issue for the benefit of registered investors. The document is released along with the prospectus or preliminary prospectus for a proposed IPO.


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Source: Greensheet (wallstreetmojo.com)

The greensheet typically contains information that appears in a prospectus. It is not fully intended for public distribution but is used by the underwriting firm dealing with the IPO. Additionally, financial advisors, consultants, and brokers may use it to make investment decisions with respect to the company going public. Registered individuals (like financial advisors) use the sheet to make suitable recommendations to their clients, who may choose to read the prospectus in detail based on such advice.

Key Takeaways

  • A Greensheet is drafted by underwriters to share details of an upcoming Initial Public Offering (IPO), follow-on offering, or a new issue. This document helps registered investors, entities, financial advisors, and brokers, among others, make data-backed decisions about investing in the IPO under consideration.
  • It offers important details such as pricing, deal size, commission, advantages and disadvantages of investing, and risks. Investors can use this document to dissect the company’s business plans and growth strategy before participating in the IPO and ascertain if they are likely to benefit from such an investment.
  • Its contents include financial reviews, performance reports, and earning projections. It also offers an overview of the opportunities, threats, risks, etc., the company may face. In other information, details about company management may also be included to boost investor confidence.

Greensheet In Underwriting Explained

Greensheets are carefully crafted documents created by underwriters that outline the key points of a new issuance or Initial Public Offering (IPO). They are also referred to as deal sheets and are a marketing tool employed to generate interest in the IPO among prospective buyers. Buyers may be brokers or institutional investors. The documents, through the features outlined in them, help underwriters convey the features of the investment and explain why the said IPO can be a good investment choice to secure investor backing.

This is particularly true when the primary objective is to promote the IPO and garner public interest. The underwriting team, the issuer, and other IPO participants work together to create a deal sheet. The document is typically updated and revised to accommodate the details of the IPO offering (as required), or it may be revised when market conditions change.

It offers registered entities the required information about the IPO, including company details, operations, financial performance, etc. Through this document, the relevant entities get comprehensive information without reading a lengthy prospectus. It involves details such as pricing, deal size, commission, and investment merits and risks. These documents simplify the company’s business model and strategy by breaking down each crucial component, enabling potential investors to understand if such an investment is likely to yield the expected ROI.

A thorough financial review is presented in the deal sheet, detailing previous performance and projected earnings and revenue. An overview of the possible risks related to investing in the company is also included in the document. This encompasses possible threats to the company’s business model or volume, in addition to regulatory, operational, and other risks. The document may also contain certain pertinent points about the management team.

With such input, investors can evaluate the caliber and expertise of the company’s executives. Their educational backgrounds, relevant work history, and professional track record details may be given while prospective investors ponder investment decisions. The greensheet analyzes market conditions, including market size, growth patterns, and the competitive environment.

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A greensheet may contain the following information.

  • Company background: The deal sheet gives investors a thorough idea of the company’s identity, competitive advantages, and long-term objectives by offering them an overview of the company’s history, mission, vision, and core business activities.
  • Financial performance: An in-depth analysis of the company’s financial performance is included in the document, along with key data for revenues, net income, EBITDA, and cash flows. Using this data, investors can evaluate the company’s financial health, profitability, and growth prospects.
  • Management team: The sheet contains comprehensive information about the company’s expert team, including their background, qualifications, and accomplishments. Using this information, investors can assess the team’s capacity to formulate business strategies and contribute to its success.
  • Market dynamics: The document analyzes the sector in which the company operates and shares information about market size, competition, trends, issues, and opportunities. This information helps prospective investors understand the company’s operating environment and assess if the investment is truly viable in light of relevant market factors.
  • Growth prospects: The company’s growth strategies, including new product releases, global expansion, market penetration, and potential mergers or acquisitions, are highlighted in the deal sheet. These expansion opportunities show the company’s potential to enlarge its customer base, bring in money, and reward investors.


Let us consider two hypothetical examples to understand the concept better.

Example #1

ABC Ltd is an underwriting firm that wants to take part in the issue of “x shares”. It prints a greensheet or deal sheet to assist its employees in canvassing potential investors. It is generally planned to carry out a summary of the prospectus and communicate the advantages and disadvantages of investing in ABC Ltd’s shares.

Example #2

XYZ is a firm looking to acquire ABC Ltd. The target company issues a document to provide the necessary information. A greensheet is used during M&As to provide comprehensive information about the target company. In such cases, a typical greensheet includes information about the company’s financial position, expected growth, valuation, and risks. This information is essential for the acquiring firm since it can affect the negotiation process significantly.

Greensheet vs Prospectus

The differences between a greensheet and a prospectus have been listed below.

Key PointsGreensheetProspectus 
Concept  A greensheet is a document that accompanies a prospectus.  A prospectus is a document a business must publish when offering investment instruments to the general public. 
PurposeIt helps representatives of the underwriting firm better understand the details of the issue; it also enables relevant entities to use the document for decision-making.From these official documents, prospective investors can obtain in-depth information about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other public investment products.
Information publishedGeneral details, such as financial performance, growth prospects, etc., are included in the sheet.A prospectus includes information about investment objectives, types of securities offered, distribution policy, the number of shares to be issued, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Where can I find a greensheet near me?

The availability of greensheets may vary depending on the underwriter or organization. One would need to contact the underwriter or relevant financial institution involved in the IPO, follow-on offering or a new issue they are interested in to obtain the document.

2. What is a greensheet in real estate?

In real estate, the phrase greensheet may refer to a particular document or procedure with information regarding the sale of the property.

3. When is the greensheet published?

Greensheet releases may vary depending on the IPO, follow-on offering, or new issue. They are usually provided to registered investors with the prospectus or preliminary prospectus, typically published under regulatory requirements and timelines.

4. Does the greensheet still exist?

Greensheets may or may not be used, depending on the practices and preferences of underwriters or financial institutions. Although underwriters may use them internally, they are not well-known or standardized in the securities business.

This has been a guide to what is a Greensheet. Here, we explain it with its examples, contents, and compare it with prospectus. You can learn more about it from the following articles –

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