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Abridged prospectus: What is it, and when is it essential?

Did you know India is topping the chart in the global IPO (Initial Public Offering) market this year? Yes, companies have already accumulated over ₹40,000 crores, and they expect to collect much more in the coming months.

The growth of the IPO market is a reason good enough for us to understand and dive deep into the IPO process. In this article, we will explore one of the primary components of an IPO – the abridged prospectus.

What is a prospectus?

The prospectus is an official document filed with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) by the company issuing the IPO. It is a mandatory requirement for all companies going public to draft and issue a prospectus.

The prospectus contains all the details about the company – its background, financials, vision, mission, plans, etc., that help investors make their investment decisions. While it is a statutory requirement for SEBI, the prospectus of an IPO acts as an advertisement about the company to the public.

What is an abridged prospectus?

The SEBI requires companies to file different kinds of prospectus for various purposes.

Section 2(1) of the Companies Act deals with abridged prospectus. 

An abridged prospectus acts as a summary containing all essential details of the IPO. As per SEBI’s requirement, an abridged prospectus must hold all significant details without omitting any material information required for investors to make decisions.

The purpose of an abridged prospectus

The SEBI mandates issuing an abridged prospectus with the application form during the issue of shares and debentures to the public.

The primary role of a prospectus is to inform the regulator and investors about the different aspects of companies going public. The final prospectus of companies is generally lengthy, and the chances of investors missing significant information are high. This can lead to investors making incorrect information. 

An abridged prospectus eliminates this issue by summarising all material information into a simple document, making it easily understandable for investors. The abridged prospectus is a starting point for research before making investment decisions.

The SEBI focuses immensely on investor’s protection from fraud. Abridged prospectus helps SEBI in doing so by ensuring the disclosure of significant details.

What does an abridged prospectus cover?

  • The basic details of the issuing company like the name, registered address, telephone, website, etc
  • Names of the company’s promoters
  • Confirmation of the eligibility to issue an IPO under required regulations of statutory bodies
  • The timetable of the IPO, containing bid opening and closing date, share allotment date, refund date, etc
  • A mention of general risks involved in investing in the share market
  • Price details of shares in IPO
  • An overview of the issuing company’s business, its strategies and model
  • The names, designations, and experiences of the Board of Directors of the issuing company
  • The purpose or objective of the IPO and the fund utilisation plan
  • Details of convertible securities, if any
  • Current shareholding pattern (Before IPO)
  • Audited financial statements containing significant details like net profit/loss, earnings per share, net asset value, etc., for five years
  • Internal risks that the issuing company is exposed to
  • Summary of litigations, outstanding claims or regulatory actions

Regulation 58(1) of SEBI deals with the format of publishing an abridged prospectus:

  • The abridged prospectus should not utilise more than five sheets printed on both sides.
  • It must be printed in the form of an A4 booklet.
  • Font: Times Roman, Font size: Not less than 11, Line spacing: 1.0
  • Information that requires a tabular format must not be written in texts

As per SEBI’s latest update on the abridged prospectus, the document should contain a QR code on the last page that leads to the main prospectus, containing all the information in detail.

Exemptions to issue abridged prospectus

The application for an IPO to issue shares or debentures is not considered valid by SEBI if it is not backed by the abridged prospectus. Hence, the document is crucial and is required at all times. However, below are some exceptions where issuing companies do not have to file an abridged prospectus:

  • If the company is not issuing shares or debentures to the public, it does not have to file an abridged prospectus.
  • When the issuing company directs the invitation of subscription to a specific underwriter, an abridged prospectus is not necessary.


An abridged prospectus is one of the initial documents required for a company to get SEBI’s approval for an IPO. It contains all the relevant information required for investors before they subscribe to the company’s shares. The prospectus is published on the issuing company’s website, along with the website of the banker assisting in the IPO process. The document is also available on SEBI’s portal, making it easily accessible to the public.


What is the difference between a prospectus and an abridged prospectus?

A prospectus generally refers to the red herring prospectus. It runs for hundreds of pages and contains in-depth information about the company issuing IPO. Abridged prospectus, on the other hand, is a summary of the main prospectus, containing the most essential information. It is a shorter and easy-to-read document.

What is the difference between an abridged prospectus and a shelf prospectus?

Abridged prospectus is the summary document of the original prospectus. It is issued by companies issuing equity shares to the public through an IPO. Shelf prospectus is issued by companies looking to raise debt capital from the public.

Is it compulsory for every company to issue an abridged prospectus with an application form?

Yes, issuing an abridged prospectus is compulsory. An abridged prospectus makes it easy for investors to go through the details since the document is relatively shorter and simpler. Hence, SEBI mandates it as a step towards the protection of investor’s interests.

What is Section 33 about abridged prospectus?

Section 33 of the Companies Act talks about the application form to be filed by companies issuing an IPO. It mandates filing the prospectus along with the application form, under this section.

Where can I find a prospectus?

The prospectus of companies issuing IPOs will be available on SEBI’s website. It will also be published on NSE and BSE, depending on where the company will be listed. Additionally, it will also be published on the issuing company’s website.

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