Greenshoe Option


DEFINITION of 'Greenshoe Option'

A provision contained in an underwriting agreement that gives the underwriter the right to sell investors more shares than originally planned by the issuer. This would normally be done if the demand for a security issue proves higher than expected. Legally referred to as an over-allotment option.

A greenshoe option can provide additional price stability to a security issue because the underwriter has the ability to increase supply and smooth out price fluctuations if demand surges.


Loading the player...

BREAKING DOWN 'Greenshoe Option'

Greenshoe options typically allow underwriters to sell up to 15% more shares than the original number set by the issuer, if demand conditions warrant such action. However, some issuers prefer not to include greenshoe options in their underwriting agreements under certain circumstances, such as if the issuer wants to fund a specific project with a fixed amount of cost and does not want more capital than it originally sought.

The term is derived from the fact that the Green Shoe Company was the first to issue this type of option.

  1. Red Herring

    A preliminary prospectus filed by a company with the Securities ...
  2. Market Standoff Agreement

    An agreement that prevents insiders of a company from selling ...
  3. Reverse Greenshoe Option

    A provision contained in an public offering underwriting agreement ...
  4. Issuer

    A legal entity that develops, registers and sells securities ...
  5. Initial Public Offering - IPO

    The first sale of stock by a private company to the public. IPOs ...
  6. IPO Lock-Up

    A contractual caveat referring to a period of time after a company ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    5 Tips For Investing In IPOs

    Thinking of investing in IPOs? Here are five things to remember before jumping into these murky waters.
  2. Investing Basics

    What is a Greenshoe Option?

    A greenshoe option is a provision in an underwriting agreement that allows the underwriter to buy up to 15% of the shares in an IPO at the offer price.
  3. Fundamental Analysis

    Interpreting A Company's IPO Prospectus Report

    Learn to decipher the secret language of the IPO prospectus report - it can tell you a lot about a company's future.
  4. Options & Futures

    Greenshoe Options: An IPO's Best Friend

    Find out how companies can save or boost their public offering price with these options.
  5. Retirement

    IPO Basics Tutorial

    What's an IPO, and how did everybody get so rich off them during the dotcom boom? We give you the scoop.
  6. Investing Basics

    The Biggest IPO Flops

    Even with the uncertainties of IPOs, companies will keep issuing them in efforts to grow their enterprises, and some will end in disaster.
  7. Investing

    Top Investment Banks In The Energy Industry

    Many global Investment banks are highly involved in the energy industry, but there are also some smaller banks and boutiques that are strong players.
  8. Investing Basics

    What Does Plain Vanilla Mean?

    Plain vanilla is a term used in investing to describe the most basic types of financial instruments.
  9. Professionals

    Career Advice: Investment Banking Vs. Corporate Finance

    Read an in-depth review and comparison of a career in investment banking and a career in corporate finance, with advice about which one to choose.
  10. Options & Futures

    Pick 401(k) Assets Like A Pro

    Professionals choose the options available to you in your plan, making your decisions easier.
  1. How do hedge funds use equity options?

    With the growth in the size and number of hedge funds over the past decade, the interest in how these funds go about generating ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can mutual funds invest in options and futures?

    Mutual funds invest in not only stocks and fixed-income securities but also options and futures. There exists a separate ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How does a forward contract differ from a call option?

    Forward contracts and call options are different financial instruments that allow two parties to purchase or sell assets ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does investment banking differ from commercial banking?

    Investment banking and commercial banking are two primary segments of the banking industry. Investment banks facilitate the ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are the main risks associated with trading derivatives?

    The primary risks associated with trading derivatives are market, counterparty, liquidity and interconnection risks. Derivatives ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How can an investor profit from a fall in the utilities sector?

    The utilities sector exhibits a high degree of stability compared to the broader market. This makes it best-suited for buy-and-hold ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Purchasing Power

    The value of a currency expressed in terms of the amount of goods or services that one unit of money can buy. Purchasing ...
  2. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  3. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  4. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  5. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  6. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!