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What Is An Ipo Greenshoe Option With Example?

  • Mar 9, 2024

This mechanism isn't just about stabilising prices; it's about ensuring the success and credibility of a company's debut on the stock exchange. Read on to analyse its mechanics, benefits, and the balance it maintains between fostering investor confidence and enabling price stability.

What Is a Green Shoe Option?

The Greenshoe option presents an intriguing instrument available to underwriters for stabilising post-listing price swings during crucial early days determining success perceptions. This additional option batch allotment, subsequent short selling after listing, and eventual coverage from the allotted pool make the Greenshoe a fascinating outcome management mechanism for wider appreciation.

Understanding IPO Share Allotments

IPOs involve issuer firms offering inaugural share allotments to public investors at a set price for raising expansion capital backed by investment bankers. Post IPO allotment, shares get listed on exchanges. Higher perceived value attracts investors, allowing businesses to raise greater capital. Thus, optimal share pricing and investor interest gain paramount importance in IPOs.

However, establishing issuer company value remains tricky. Hence, post-listing price stability from indicative IPO levels assumes importance to signal credibility and build continued investing confidence during the initial market phase. This is where greenshoe options come in.

Deconstructing the Greenshoe Option

Legally, IPO underwriters can over-allot 15% extra shares than originally offered to investors to safeguard against subsequent price dips after public listing. If heavy selling emerges, these extra shares get released from allotted capital into the market to meet selling pressures and prop up prices.

After that, underwriters quickly exercise further allotment rights already secured from issuers to replenish capital and recover the released batch, thus bringing stability without lasting dilution. This flexible pool is the greenshoe option batch prudently utilised for early course corrections.

Understanding Mechanics Through Case Studies

For example, say an IPO of 1 crore shares was oversubscribed by 25%. Hence, in the IPO examples, the issuer, in consultation with investment bankers, allots 80 lakh shares to investors on a listing date at Rs 200 per share based on the price band.

Additionally, an extra 12 lakh Greenshoe option shares also stand allotted but have yet to be released currently. However, heavy profit booking emerges on the listing, causing prices to plunge to Rs 150 within days. Sensing risks from negative perception, bankers immediately purchase and release the Greenshoe shares into the market.

The added supply matches selling pressures, thereby preventing the fall to Rs 175. Once the decline halts after a few weeks, bankers exercise pre-agreed rights to allot themselves the 12 lakh shares from company reserves at the same Rs 200. This replenishes price stability capital without dilution.

After that, lock-in expiration allows bankers to sell those shares in the market at breakeven, completing the cycle smoothly.

Evaluating Returns and Risks in Greenshoe Adoption

The unique Greenshoe instrument primed during IPOs certainly holds the lucrative promise of stabilising listing journeys. However, blind adoption risks suboptimal results if issuer situations remain incompatible. By prudently reviewing pros, cons, and progressive regulatory directions, balanced decisions become possible, harnessing upside potential responsibly.

Step 1: Appreciate the Benefits Spectrum

For issuers, Greenshoes offers vital insurance against negative perceptions rooted in excessive pricing corrections early on through supply augmentation to meet selling pressures. Beyond price stability, added demand absorbs available shares, recouping maximum capital.

Investment bankers also benefit from sufficient inventory controlling early volatility swings crucial for issuer reputation impacting future IPO prospects. Overall, the instrument offers a mutually beneficial safety net.

Step 2: Objectively Assess Potential Downsides

However, Greenshoe deployment could artificially interfere with the genuine price discovery process. Aggressive issuers may also lose quality investors holding long-term views if the focus skews excessively on first-day mania players.

Moreover, eventual share issuance beyond the stated IPO size for replenishing the greenshoe batch does marginally dilute earnings per share metrics. Unless judiciously bounded within 15% limits, prolonged greenshoe reliance risks distorting IPO experiences and randomising sustainable outcomes.

Lastly, eventual sell decisions for greenshoe batches become predicated more on bankers' profit objectives than issuer stability mandates at times due to mismatched priorities.

Step 3: Shape Solutions for the Future

In terms of progressive outlook, SEBI tightening profit usage norms prevents IPO proceeds from splurging just on stabilising debuts, instilling financial discipline, and crossing short-term listing hurdles.

The regulatory advisory also educates issuers on resisting peer pressure chasing lofty benchmarks alone without intrinsic IPO pricing grounding. Such directions can organically enhance quality issuer-investor experiences beyond short-term greenshoe guardrails over the long run.


The Greenshoe option has demonstrated valuable crisis management utility during volatile initial IPO journeys for India Inc. as well as global majors by inspiring investor confidence. Its future remains fruitful through prudent and selective usage, staying within legal bounds to nurture a balanced after-market envisaging stability. When crafted judiciously within regulatory paradigms addressing limitations, greenshoes can responsibly empower shared success.

Team Sharekhan
by Team Sharekhan

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