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A Greensheet in finance is an internal document, prepared by an underwriting firm, containing information about a new issue intended for distribution to the brokerage firm’s sales staff. The document usually includes information such as the terms of the issue, the offering price, the amount of the commission, and a summary of the prospectus. It aims to help sales staff understand the new issue and sell it effectively to potential investors.


The phonetic spelling for “Greensheet” is: /ˈɡriːnʃiːt/

Key Takeaways

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The business/finance term Greensheet holds significant importance as it is a detailed document prepared by an underwriter to summarize the main components of a new issue or Initial Public Offering (IPO). The name Greensheet is derived from the color of paper the document was traditionally printed on. It provides crucial information such as company data, financial statements, details about the underwriters, the price at which the securities will be offered, and risks associated with the investment. Essentially, it serves as a marketing tool for potential investors and brokers, allowing them to make informed decisions on whether to invest in a particular new issue.


The Greensheet, in the finance or business context, serves an important purpose in the initial public offering (IPO) process. It is particularly designed to facilitate the underwriter’s marketing efforts. An underwriter is a financial specialist who works with issuing entities to bring its securities to the market and facilitate the sale to public investors. So, a greensheet essentially works as part of an underwriter’s toolkit, providing a detailed summary of a new issue for prospective clients or brokers, aiming to incite investor interest and eventual purchase.Notably, a greensheet typically includes financial and qualitative information around a particular new issue or IPO, such as tentative price range, company overview, key financials, strengths, and potential risks, among other pertinent details. The document is distributed before the official prospectus is distributed to the general public. Thus, by providing brokers and prospective clients a snapshot into the offering, greensheets help underwriters generate buzz, stimulate demand, and eventually facilitate the successful placement of the new issue within the market.


1. Real Estate Investment Firms: Investment firms often use ‘greensheets’ to communicate detailed information about properties to potential investors. The document generally includes specifics about the property’s location, cost, projected returns, and other critical financial details. This gives buyers a comprehensive overview and helps them make an informed decision.2. Mergers and Acquisitions: In corporate finance, a ‘greensheet’ might be used during a merger or acquisition to provide detailed information about the target company. The document will typically lay out the company’s financial status, projected growth, valuation, and any foreseeable risks. This information is crucial for the acquiring company as it can greatly influence the negotiation process.3. Initial Public Offering (IPO) Process: During an IPO, an investment bank will create a ‘greensheet’ that provides in-depth analysis on the issuing company. This document will highlight the company’s business model, financials, market analysis, and share offering details. The ‘greensheet’ is then distributed among broker-dealers and investors to generate interest and inform potential investment decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Greensheet in finance and business?

A Greensheet is a document prepared by an underwriter to aid in the selling of a security offering to brokers or the dealers. It typically contains beneficial information about a corporate security offering and can also be known as a Flimsy.

What information does a Greensheet usually contain?

Typically, a Greensheet contains information that helps in decision making, such as financial data, data on comparable transactions, key operating statistics, an overview of the industry where the company operates, and information about potential risks and rewards.

Who typically uses a Greensheet?

Greensheets are mainly used by underwriters, brokers, or dealers in the securities industry. It helps them to better understand the details of a corporate securities offering and sell it more effectively.

Is a Greensheet the same as a prospectus?

No, a Greensheet is not the same as a prospectus. While both contain information about a security offering, a prospectus is a legal document provided to investors, while the Greensheet is an internal document used by brokers and dealers.

Are Greensheets public information?

No, Greensheets are not generally available to the public. They are considered internal documents for use within the underwriting community to assist in the sale of security offerings.

Is a Greensheet legally binding?

No, a Greensheet does not form a legally binding agreement and cannot be used to make an offer of sale. It is an informational document only, used within the broker-dealer community.

Related Finance Terms

  • Due Diligence: A comprehensive appraisal of a business undertaken by a prospective buyer to establish its assets and liabilities and evaluate its commercial potential.
  • Investment Bank: A financial institution that assists individuals, corporations, and governments in raising financial capital by underwriting or acting as the client’s agent in the issuance of securities.
  • Securities: Tradable financial assets such as bonds, notes, shares, and so on.
  • Initial Public Offering (IPO): The process by which a private company can go public by sale of its stocks to the general public. A greensheet is often used in the IPO process.
  • Underwriters: A person or company that underwrites an insurance risk; the party in a financial transaction who assumes the risk of loss. Underwriters often prepare the greensheet in an IPO context.

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