Greensheet

This article outlines what a green sheet is, what they are used, and why they're important in investment banking.

What is a greensheet?

A Greensheet (or Green Sheet) is a summary of the key attributes of the issuer of an offered security used by the sales force when they solicit expressions of interest from prospective institutional investors and brokers.  It is an internal marketing document and cannot be shared outside of the bank.

Greensheets are often produced by investment bankers when working on a transaction for corporate issuers.

What’s included in a greensheet?

It is customary for a lead manager to prepare a greensheet in connection with a public offering. Greensheets are provided to the bank’s internal sales force once a preliminary prospectus has been filed and are used by the sales force when they solicit expressions of interest from prospective institutional investors and brokers.

Green sheets include a summary of the key attributes of the issuer and the offered securities. They are intended for internal use only and, because they constitute a communication during the period of distribution, should not be provided or made available to prospective investors. All material information contained in the green sheet (excluding the list of “comparables” and any summary of current research ratings concerning the issuer) must be derived from the contents of the preliminary prospectus and other publicly available sources.

When preparing a green sheet, the following guidelines will help ensure a high quality document is produced:

  • The green sheet must make a balanced presentation of the prospectus contents and the information contained in the green sheet must generally track the prospectus;
  • Green sheets may summarize the information in the preliminary prospectus but care should be taken not to use different language that would change the meaning from the language used in the prospectus;
  • In addition to the bold statement on the green sheet stating that it is for internal use only or broker use only, all green sheets must have the legend “For Internal Use Only” diagonally shadow written across each page; and
  • All green sheets must contain appropriate legends, as approved by Legal. In cases where the bank is acting as lead or co-lead manager, investment bankers should ask the underwriters’ counsel

Knowing how to build a greensheet is an important investment banking skill-set.

Where to learn more

Investment banking careers: explore our career map

Interviews: IB interview guide

Courses: CFI investment banking courses