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Section 1: 424B5 (FINAL PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT)

Final Prospectus Supplement
Table of Contents

Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5)
Registration No. 333-198729

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

 

Title of each class of

securities to be registered

 

Amount

to be
registered(1)

  Proposed
maximum
offering price
per share
 

Proposed
maximum
aggregate

offering price(1)

 

Amount of

registration

fee(1)(2)

Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share

  6,900,000   $41.75   $288,075,000   $33,388

 

 

(1) Includes 900,000 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of common stock.
(2) Calculated in accordance with Rule 457(r) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.


Table of Contents

Filed pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5)
Registration No. 333-198729

 

Prospectus supplement

(To prospectus dated September 12, 2014)

6,000,000 shares

 

 

LOGO

Common stock

We are offering 6,000,000 shares of our common stock, par value $0.01 per share.

Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, under the symbol “GEO.” On March 7, 2017, the last trading price of our common stock as reported on the NYSE was $44.73 per share.

Investing in our common stock involves risks. See “Risk factors” beginning on page S-13 of this prospectus supplement and on page 7 of the accompanying base prospectus.

 

      Per share        Total  

Offering price to public

   $ 41.7500        $ 250,500,000  

Underwriting discount and commissions

   $ 1.7320        $ 10,392,000  

Proceeds, before expenses, to us

   $ 40.0180        $ 240,108,000  

We have granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional 900,000 shares from us at the price set forth above within 30 days from the date of this prospectus supplement.

None of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), any state securities commission, or any other regulatory body has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus supplement or the accompanying base prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

Delivery of shares to purchasers is expected to occur on or about March 13, 2017 through the book-entry facilities of the Depository Trust Company.

Joint book-running managers

 

J.P. Morgan   SunTrust Robinson Humphrey   Barclays     BofA Merrill Lynch  

Co-Managers

 

Canaccord Genuity   HSBC   PNC Capital Markets LLC
Fifth Third Securities   Regions Securities LLC   TD Securities

The date of this prospectus supplement is March 7, 2017.


Table of Contents

Table of contents

Prospectus supplement

 

     Page  

About this prospectus supplement

     S-ii  

Incorporation by reference

     S-ii  

Special note regarding forward-looking statements

     S-iii  

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

     S-vii  

Summary

     S-1  

Risk factors

     S-13  

Use of proceeds

     S-16  

Capitalization

     S-17  

Price range of common stock

     S-18  

Dividend policy

     S-19  

United States federal income tax consequences

     S-20  

Underwriting

     S-40  

Legal matters

     S-48  

Experts

     S-48  

Prospectus

 

     Page  

About this prospectus

     2  

Forward-looking statements

     3  

Prospectus summary

     5  

Risk factors

     7  

Ratio of earnings to fixed charges

     8  

Use of proceeds

     9  

Description of capital stock

     10  

Description of debt securities

     15  

Description of warrants

     18  

Description of units

     19  

Plan of distribution

     20  

Legal matters

     22  

Experts

     23  

Where you can find more information

     24  

 

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About this prospectus supplement

This prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus are part of a universal shelf registration statement on Form S-3 that we filed with the SEC on September 12, 2014. Under the shelf registration process, we may offer and sell securities in one or more offerings from time to time. In the accompanying base prospectus, including the documents incorporated by reference, we provide you with a general description of the securities we may offer from time to time under our shelf registration statement, some of which may not apply to our common stock or this offering. This prospectus supplement describes the specific details regarding this offering, including the price, the number of shares of our common stock being offered and the risks of investing in our common stock. Generally, when we refer to this prospectus supplement, we are referring to both parts of this document combined. This prospectus supplement, the accompanying base prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein and therein include important information about us, the common stock being offered and other information you should know before investing. See “Incorporation by reference.”

You should rely only on the information contained in or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying base prospectus and any free writing prospectus we may provide you in connection with this offering. If any information varies between this prospectus supplement, the accompanying base prospectus or documents incorporated by reference herein prior to the date of this prospectus supplement, you should rely on the information in this prospectus supplement. We have not, and the underwriters have not, authorized any other person to provide you with additional or different information. If anyone provides you with additional, different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. We are not, and the underwriters are not, making an offer to sell these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted. You should not assume that the information appearing in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying base prospectus, any free writing prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference are accurate as of any date subsequent to their respective dates.

The information contained in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus or in any document incorporated by reference herein or therein is accurate and complete only as of the date hereof or thereof, respectively, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus or of any sale of our common stock by us or the underwriters. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since those dates.

Incorporation by reference

The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” the information that we file with it. This permits us to disclose important information to you by referring you to documents previously filed with the SEC. The information incorporated by reference is an important part of this prospectus supplement, and any information filed by us with the SEC subsequent to the date of this prospectus supplement will automatically be deemed to update and supersede this information. We incorporate by reference the following documents (other than information furnished and not deemed “filed” under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”)) which we have filed with the SEC:

 

 

our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, filed with the SEC on February 27, 2017;

 

 

our Current Report on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on February 28, 2017;

 

 

the information specifically incorporated by reference into our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015 from our definitive proxy statement on Schedule 14A, filed with the SEC on March 18, 2016; and

 

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the description of our common stock contained in the “Description of Capital Stock” attached as Exhibit 4.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K12B filed with the SEC on June 30, 2014 and any subsequent amendments and reports filed to update that description.

In addition, all documents filed by us pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, subsequent to the date of this prospectus supplement, shall be deemed to be incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and to be a part hereof from the date of filing of such documents with the SEC (other than any portions of any such documents that are not deemed “filed” under the Exchange Act in accordance with the Exchange Act and applicable SEC rules).

Any statement contained in a document deemed to be incorporated by reference herein shall be deemed to be modified or superseded for purposes of this prospectus supplement and registration statement to the extent that a statement contained herein or in any other subsequently filed document which also is deemed to be incorporated by reference herein modifies or supersedes such statement. Any such statement so modified or superseded shall not be deemed, except as so modified or superseded, to constitute a part of this prospectus supplement and registration statement. While any securities described herein remain outstanding, we will make available at no cost, upon written or oral request, to any beneficial owner and any prospective purchaser of securities described herein, any of the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and registration statement by writing to us at the following address or telephoning us at (866) 301-4436 or (561) 893-0101.

The GEO Group, Inc.

621 NW 53rd Street, Suite 700

Boca Raton, Florida 33487

Attention: Investor Relations

Exhibits to an incorporated document will not be provided unless the exhibit is specifically incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement.

Special note regarding forward-looking statements

Certain statements in this prospectus supplement, the documents incorporated by reference herein and the accompanying base prospectus constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this prospectus supplement, the documents incorporated by reference herein and the accompanying base prospectus, including, without limitation, statements regarding our future financial position, business strategy, budgets, projected costs and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are “forward-looking” statements. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “seek,” “estimate” or “continue” or the negative of such words or variations of such words and similar expressions. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, which are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements and we can give no assurance that such forward-looking statements will prove to be correct. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, or “cautionary statements,” include, but are not limited to:

 

 

if we fail to remain qualified as a real estate investment trust (“REIT”), we will be subject to U.S. federal income tax as a regular corporation and could face a substantial tax liability, which would reduce the amount of cash available for distribution to our shareholders;

 

 

qualifying as a REIT involves highly technical and complex provisions of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”);

 

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complying with the REIT requirements may cause us to liquidate or forgo otherwise attractive opportunities;

 

 

dividends payable by REITs do not qualify for the reduced tax rates available for some dividends;

 

 

REIT distribution requirements could adversely affect our ability to execute our business plan;

 

 

our cash distributions are not guaranteed and may fluctuate;

 

 

certain of our business activities may be subject to corporate level income tax and foreign taxes, which would reduce our cash flows, and may have potential deferred and contingent tax liabilities;

 

 

REIT ownership limitations may restrict or prevent you from engaging in certain transfers of our common stock;

 

 

our use of taxable REIT subsidiaries (“TRS”) may cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT;

 

 

there are uncertainties relating to the special earnings and profits distribution;

 

 

legislative or other actions affecting REITs could have a negative effect on us;

 

 

we have limited experience operating as a REIT, which may adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, cash flow, per share trading price of our common stock and ability to satisfy debt service obligations;

 

 

our level of indebtedness could adversely affect our financial condition and prevent us from fulfilling our debt service obligations;

 

 

we are incurring significant indebtedness in connection with substantial ongoing capital expenditures. Capital expenditures for existing and future projects may materially strain our liquidity;

 

 

despite current indebtedness levels, we may still incur more indebtedness, which could further exacerbate the risks described in our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 filed on February 27, 2017;

 

 

the covenants in the indentures governing the 6.00% Senior Notes, the 5.125% Senior Notes, the 5.875% Senior Notes due 2022 and the 5.875% Senior Notes due 2024 and the covenants in our Senior Credit Facility impose significant operating and financial restrictions which may adversely affect our ability to operate our business;

 

 

servicing our indebtedness will require a significant amount of cash. Our ability to generate cash depends on many factors beyond our control and we may not be able to generate the cash required to service our indebtedness;

 

 

because portions of our senior indebtedness have floating interest rates, a general increase in interest rates would adversely affect cash flows;

 

 

we depend on distributions from our subsidiaries to make payments on our indebtedness. These distributions may not be made;

 

 

we may not be able to satisfy our repurchase obligations in the event of a change of control because the terms of our indebtedness or lack of funds may prevent us from doing so;

 

 

from time to time, we may not have a management contract with a client to operate existing beds at a facility or new beds at a facility that we are expanding and we cannot assure you that such a contract will be obtained. Failure to obtain a management contract for these beds will subject us to carrying costs with no corresponding management revenue;

 

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negative conditions in the capital markets could prevent us from obtaining financing, which could materially harm our business;

 

 

we are subject to the loss of our facility management contracts, due to terminations, non-renewals or competitive re-bids, which could adversely affect our results of operations and liquidity, including our ability to secure new facility management contracts from other government customers;

 

 

we may not be able to successfully identify, consummate or integrate acquisitions;

 

 

as a result of our acquisitions, we have recorded and will continue to record a significant amount of goodwill and other intangible assets. In the future, our goodwill or other intangible assets may become impaired, which could result in material non-cash charges to our results of operations;

 

 

our growth depends on our ability to secure contracts to develop and manage new correctional, detention and community based facilities and to secure contracts to provide electronic monitoring services, community-based re-entry services and monitoring and supervision services, the demand for which is outside our control;

 

 

we may not be able to meet state requirements for capital investment or locate land for the development of new facilities, which could adversely affect our results of operations and future growth;

 

 

we partner with a limited number of governmental customers who account for a significant portion of our revenues. The loss of, or a significant decrease in revenues from, these customers could seriously harm our financial condition and results of operations;

 

 

a decrease in occupancy levels could cause a decrease in revenues and profitability;

 

 

state budgetary constraints may have a material adverse impact on us;

 

 

competition for contracts may adversely affect the profitability of our business;

 

 

we are dependent on government appropriations, which may not be made on a timely basis or at all and may be adversely impacted by budgetary constraints at the federal, state, local and foreign government levels;

 

 

public resistance to the use of public-private partnerships for correctional, detention and community based facilities could result in our inability to obtain new contracts or the loss of existing contracts, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations;

 

 

operating youth services facilities poses certain unique or increased risks and difficulties compared to operating other facilities;

 

 

adverse publicity may negatively impact our ability to retain existing contracts and obtain new contracts;

 

 

we may incur significant start-up and operating costs on new contracts before receiving related revenues, which may impact our cash flows and not be recouped;

 

 

failure to comply with extensive government regulation and applicable contractual requirements could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

 

we may face community opposition to facility location, which may adversely affect our ability to obtain new contracts;

 

 

our business operations expose us to various liabilities for which we may not have adequate insurance and may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

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we may not be able to obtain or maintain the insurance levels required by our government contracts;

 

 

our international operations expose us to risks which could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations;

 

 

we conduct certain of our operations through joint ventures or consortiums, which may lead to disagreements with our joint venture partners or business partners and adversely affect our interest in the joint ventures or consortiums;

 

 

we are dependent upon our senior management and our ability to attract and retain sufficient qualified personnel;

 

 

our profitability may be materially adversely affected by inflation;

 

 

various risks associated with the ownership of real estate may increase costs, expose us to uninsured losses and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations;

 

 

risks related to facility construction and development activities may increase our costs related to such activities;

 

 

the rising cost and increasing difficulty of obtaining adequate levels of surety credit on favorable terms could adversely affect our operating results;

 

 

adverse developments in our relationship with our employees could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations;

 

 

technological changes could cause our electronic monitoring products and technology to become obsolete or require the redesign of our electronic monitoring products, which could have a material adverse effect on our business;

 

 

any negative changes in the level of acceptance of or resistance to the use of electronic monitoring products and services by governmental customers could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations;

 

 

we depend on a limited number of third parties to manufacture and supply quality infrastructure components for our electronic monitoring products. If our suppliers cannot provide the components or services we require and with such quality as we expect, our ability to market and sell our electronic monitoring products and services could be harmed;

 

 

the interruption, delay or failure of the provision of our services or information systems could adversely affect our business;

 

 

an inability to acquire, protect or maintain our intellectual property and patents in the electronic monitoring space could harm our ability to compete or grow;

 

 

our electronic monitoring products could infringe on the intellectual property rights of others, which may lead to litigation that could itself be costly, could result in the payment of substantial damages or royalties, and/or prevent us from using technology that is essential to our products;

 

 

we license intellectual property rights in the electronic monitoring space, including patents, from third party owners. If such owners do not properly maintain or enforce the intellectual property underlying such licenses, our competitive position and business prospects could be harmed. Our licensors may also seek to terminate our license;

 

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we may be subject to costly product liability claims from the use of our electronic monitoring products, which could damage our reputation, impair the marketability of our products and services and force us to pay costs and damages that may not be covered by adequate insurance;

 

 

the market price of our common stock may vary substantially;

 

 

future sales of shares of our common stock could adversely affect the market price of our common stock and may be dilutive to current shareholders;

 

 

various anti-takeover protections applicable to us may make an acquisition of us more difficult and reduce the market value of our common stock;

 

 

failure to maintain effective internal controls in accordance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 could have an adverse effect on our business and the trading price of our common stock; and

 

 

we may issue additional debt securities that could limit our operating flexibility and negatively affect the value of our common stock.

Non-GAAP financial measures

EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, Funds From Operations, Normalized Funds From Operations and Adjusted Funds From Operations, as presented in this prospectus supplement, are supplemental measures of our performance that are not required by, or presented in accordance with, accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”). They are not measurements of our financial performance under GAAP and should not be considered in isolation or as alternatives to income from continuing operations or any other performance measures derived in accordance with GAAP or as alternatives to net cash provided by operating activities as measures of our liquidity.

We derive these measures as follows:

 

 

EBITDA is defined as income from continuing operations before interest expense, net, income tax provision (benefit), loss or extinguishment of debt, depreciation and amortization expense, and tax provision on equity in earnings of affiliates.

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA is defined as EBITDA adjusted for net income/loss attributable to non-controlling interests, stock-based compensation expenses, pre-tax, and certain other adjustments as defined from time to time, including for the periods presented non-cash mark to market adjustments for derivative instruments, start-up expenses, pre-tax, M&A related expenses, pre-tax, and gain on sale of real estate assets, pre-tax.

 

 

Funds from Operations, or FFO, is defined in accordance with standards established by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, or NAREIT, which defines FFO as net income (loss) attributable to common shareholders (computed in accordance with GAAP), excluding real estate related depreciation and amortization, excluding gains and losses from the cumulative effects of accounting changes, extraordinary items and sales of properties, and including adjustments for unconsolidated partnerships and joint ventures.

 

 

Normalized Funds from Operations, or Normalized FFO, is defined as FFO adjusted for certain items which by their nature are not comparable from period to period or that tend to obscure GEO’s actual operating performance, including for the periods presented start-up expenses, net of tax, M&A related expenses, net of tax, non-recurring tax benefits and loss on extinguishment of debt, net of tax.

 

 

Adjusted Funds from Operations, or AFFO, is defined as Normalized FFO adjusted by adding non-cash expenses such as non-real estate related depreciation and amortization, stock based compensation, the amortization of debt issuance costs, discount and/or premium and other non-cash interest, and other non-cash interest and by subtracting recurring consolidated maintenance capital expenditures.

 

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Given the nature of our business as a real estate owner and operator, we believe that EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are helpful to investors as measures of our operational performance because they provide an indication of our ability to incur and service debt, to satisfy general operating expenses, to make capital expenditures and to fund other cash needs or reinvest cash into our business. We believe that by removing the impact of our asset base (primarily depreciation and amortization) and excluding certain non-cash charges, amounts spent on interest and taxes, and certain other charges that are highly variable from year to year, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA provide our investors with performance measures that reflect the impact to operations from trends in occupancy rates, per diem rates and operating costs, providing a perspective not immediately apparent from income from continuing operations. The adjustments we make to derive the non-GAAP measures of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA exclude items which may cause short-term fluctuations in income from continuing operations and which we do not consider to be the fundamental attributes or primary drivers of our business plan and they do not affect our overall long-term operating performance. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA provide disclosure on the same basis as that used by our management and provide consistency in our financial reporting, facilitate internal and external comparisons of our historical operating performance and our business units and provide continuity to investors for comparability purposes.

While EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, Funds From Operations, Normalized Funds From Operations and Adjusted Funds From Operations are frequently used as measures of operating performance and the ability to meet debt service requirements, they are not necessarily comparable to other similarly titled captions of other companies due to potential inconsistencies in the methods of calculation.

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA have important limitations as analytical tools, such as:

 

 

they do not reflect our capital expenditures, future requirements for capital expenditures or contractual commitments,

 

 

they do not reflect interest expense or the cash requirements necessary to service principal or interest payments on our debt,

 

 

although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets that we currently depreciate and amortize will likely have to be replaced in the future, and neither EBITDA nor Adjusted EBITDA reflects the cash required to fund such replacements, and

 

 

they do not reflect the effect of earnings or charges resulting from matters that our management does not consider to be indicative of our ongoing operations. However, some of these charges have recurred and may re-occur in the future.

Because of the unique design, structure and use of our correctional facilities, we believe that assessing the performance of our correctional facilities without the impact of depreciation or amortization is useful and meaningful to investors. Although NAREIT has published its definition of FFO, companies often modify this definition as they seek to provide financial measures that meaningfully reflect their distinctive operations. We have modified FFO to derive Normalized FFO and AFFO that meaningfully reflect our operations. Our assessment of our operations is focused on long-term sustainability. The adjustments we make to derive the non-GAAP measures of Normalized FFO and AFFO exclude items which may cause short-term fluctuations in income from continuing operations but have no impact on our cash flows, or we do not consider them to be fundamental attributes or the primary drivers of our business plan and they do not affect our overall long-term operating performance.

Because FFO, Normalized FFO and AFFO exclude depreciation and amortization unique to real estate as well as non-operational items and certain other charges that are highly variable from year to year, they provide our investors with performance measures that reflect the impact to operations from trends in occupancy rates, per

 

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diem rates, operating costs and interest costs, providing a perspective not immediately apparent from income from continuing operations. We believe the presentation of FFO, Normalized FFO and AFFO provide useful information to investors as they provide an indication of our ability to fund capital expenditures and expand our business. FFO, Normalized FFO and AFFO provide disclosure on the same basis as that used by our management and provide consistency in our financial reporting, facilitate internal and external comparisons of our historical operating performance and our business units and provide continuity to investors for comparability purposes. Additionally, FFO, Normalized FFO and AFFO are widely recognized measures in our industry as a real estate investment trust.

Funds From Operations, Normalized Funds From Operations and Adjusted Funds From Operations have important limitations as analytical tools, such as:

 

 

they exclude the depreciation and amortization unique to real estate assets that will likely have to be replaced in the future, and

 

 

they exclude the gains and losses from property dispositions and extraordinary items.

See “Summary—Summary Historical Financial and Other Data” for a quantitative reconciliation of EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA, Funds From Operations, Normalized Funds From Operations and Adjusted Funds From Operations to income from continuing operations.

 

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Summary

This summary highlights selected information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying base prospectus. It does not contain all of the information that you should consider before making an investment decision. For a more complete understanding of our business and this offering, you should carefully read the entire prospectus supplement, the accompanying base prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein, including our historical financial statements and the notes thereto, which are incorporated herein by reference from our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016. You should read “Risk factors” beginning on page S-13 of this prospectus supplement, on page 7 of the accompanying base prospectus and Item 1A. “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, for more information about important risks that you should consider before making a decision to invest in our common stock.

Unless the context requires otherwise, references in this prospectus supplement to the “Company,” “The GEO Group, Inc.,” “GEO,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to The GEO Group, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.

Overview

We are a fully-integrated real estate investment trust (“REIT”) specializing in the ownership, leasing and management of correctional, detention and reentry facilities and the provision of community-based services and youth services in the United States, Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. We own, lease and operate a broad range of correctional and detention facilities including maximum, medium and minimum security prisons, immigration detention centers, minimum security detention centers, as well as community based reentry facilities. We develop new facilities based on contract awards, using our project development expertise and experience to design, construct and finance what we believe are state-of-the-art facilities that maximize security and efficiency. We provide innovative compliance technologies, industry-leading monitoring services, and evidence-based supervision and treatment programs for community-based parolees, probationers and pretrial defendants. We also provide secure transportation services for offender and detainee populations as contracted domestically and in the United Kingdom through our joint venture GEO Amey PECS Ltd. (“GEOAmey”). As of December 31, 2016, our worldwide operations included the management and/or ownership of approximately 87,000 beds at 104 correctional, detention and community based facilities, including idle facilities and projects under development, and also include the provision of community supervision services for more than 174,000 offenders and pretrial defendants, including approximately 95,000 individuals through an array of technology products including radio frequency, GPS, and alcohol monitoring devices.

We provide a diversified scope of services on behalf of our government clients:

 

 

our correctional and detention management services involve the provision of security, administrative, rehabilitation, education, and food services, primarily at adult male correctional and detention facilities;

 

 

our community-based services involve supervision of adult parolees and probationers and the provision of temporary housing, programming, employment assistance and other services with the intention of the successful reintegration of residents into the community;

 

 

our youth services include residential, detention and shelter care and community-based services along with rehabilitative and educational programs;

 

 

we provide comprehensive electronic monitoring and supervision services;

 

 

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we develop new facilities, using our project development experience to design, construct and finance what we believe are state-of-the-art facilities that maximize security and efficiency;

 

 

we provide secure transportation services for offender and detainee populations as contracted; and

 

 

our services are provided at facilities which we either own, lease or are owned by our customers.

We began operating as a REIT for federal income tax purposes effective January 1, 2013. As a result of the REIT conversion, we reorganized our operations and moved non-real estate components into TRS. We are a Florida corporation and our predecessor corporation prior to the REIT conversion was originally organized in 1984.

We conduct our business through four reportable business segments: our U.S. Corrections & Detention segment; our GEO Care segment; our International Services segment and our Facility Construction & Design segment. We have identified these four reportable segments to reflect our current view that we operate four distinct business lines, each of which constitutes a material part of our overall business. Our U.S. Corrections & Detention segment primarily encompasses our U.S.-based privatized corrections and detention business. Our GEO Care segment, which conducts its services in the U.S., consists of our community based services business, our youth services business and our electronic monitoring and supervision service. Our International Services segment primarily consists of our privatized corrections and detention operations in Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Our Facility Construction & Design segment primarily contracts with various state, local and federal agencies, as well as international agencies, for the design and construction of facilities for which we generally have been, or expect to be, awarded management contracts.

Recent developments

Community Education Centers Acquisition

On February 22, 2017, we announced that we had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Community Education Centers (“CEC”), a private provider of rehabilitation services for offenders in reentry and in-prison treatment facilities as well as management services for county, state and federal correctional and detention facilities. Pursuant to the terms of the definitive agreement, we will acquire CEC for $360 million in cash, subject to certain potential adjustments, including for working capital and indebtedness as set forth in the definitive agreement. CEC’s operations encompass over 12,000 beds nationwide. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017 subject to the fulfillment of customary conditions. The transaction will be supported by a term loan financing commitment and borrowings under our existing Revolving Credit Facility. We plan to integrate CEC into our existing business units of GEO Corrections & Detention and GEO Care. We continue to evaluate and pursue selected acquisition opportunities in our core services and other government services areas that meet our criteria for growth and profitability. We regularly engage in discussions with potential targets or their owners regarding such acquisitions and make offers for such assets.

Legal proceedings

On October 22, 2014, nine current and former civil immigration detainees who were detained at the Aurora Immigration Detention Center filed a purported class action lawsuit against the Company in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado (the “Court”). The complaint alleged that the Company was in violation of the Colorado Minimum Wages of Workers Act and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, and claimed that the Company was unjustly enriched as a result of the level of payment that the detainees received for work performed at the facility, even though the voluntary work program as well as the wage rates and standards associated with the program that are at issue in this case are authorized by the Federal government under

 

 

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guidelines approved by the United States Congress. On July 6, 2015, the Court granted the Company’s motion to dismiss the claim against the Company under the Colorado Minimum Wages of Workers Act and otherwise denied the Company’s motion to dismiss. On February 27, 2017, the Court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. The Court has ordered the parties to file a revised Proposed Stipulated Scheduling and Discovery Order by March 27, 2017 to proceed with the case. Fact discovery in the case has not yet begun. The plaintiffs seek actual damages, compensatory damages, exemplary damages, punitive damages, restitution, attorneys’ fees and costs, and such other relief as the Court may deem proper. The Company intends to take all necessary steps to vigorously defend itself and has consistently refuted the allegations and claims in the lawsuit. The Company has not recorded an accrual relating to this matter at this time, as a loss is not considered probable nor reasonably estimable at this state of the lawsuit. If the Company had to change the level of compensation under the voluntary work program, or to substitute employee work for voluntary work, this could increase costs of operating these facilities.

On August 25, 2016, a purported shareholder class action lawsuit was filed against the Company, its Chief Executive Officer, George C. Zoley (“Mr. Zoley”), and its Chief Financial Officer, Brian R. Evans (“Mr. Evans”), in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The complaint alleges that the Company and Messrs. Zoley and Evans made false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. The lawsuit alleges that it is brought by John J. Mulvaney individually and on behalf of a class consisting of all persons other than the defendants who purchased or otherwise acquired the Company’s securities during the alleged class period between March 1, 2012 through and including August 17, 2016. The complaint alleges that the Company and Messrs. Zoley and Evans violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and alleges that Messrs. Zoley and Evans violated Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act. On December 21, 2016, the appointed lead plaintiffs filed an Amended Class Action Complaint, which reasserted the claims against the Company and Messrs. Zoley and Evans, and asserted new claims for alleged false and misleading statements in violation of Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act against the Company’s former Senior Vice President, GEO Detention & Corrections Services, John Hurley (“Mr. Hurley”) and the Company’s Senior Vice President and President, GEO Corrections & Detention, David Donahue (“Mr. Donahue”). The amended complaint seeks damages, interest, attorneys’ fees, expert fees, other costs, and such other relief as the court may deem proper. On February 23, 2017, the amended complaint was dismissed without prejudice by the court for failure to state a cause of action. The lead plaintiffs were granted leave to file a second amended complaint on or before March 30, 2017. The Company intends to take all necessary steps to vigorously defend itself and Messrs. Zoley and Evans. The Company has not recorded an accrual relating to this matter at this time, as a loss is not considered probable nor reasonably estimable at this preliminary stage of the lawsuit.

Developments relating to Bureau of Prisons’ use of private facilities

On August 18, 2016, the U.S. Deputy Attorney General of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a memorandum directed to the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) which stated that the BOP should either decline to renew or substantially reduce the scope of contract renewals in a manner consistent with law and the overall decline of the BOP’s inmate population. The DOJ in its memo to the BOP argued that private facilities do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs and resources, do not substantially save costs, or have the same level of safety and security compared to BOP facilities. These arguments were purportedly based on a report that was published by the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) just a few days before the DOJ memorandum was issued.

We believe that the report issued by the OIG does not support such arguments for a variety of reasons. First, we believe the methodology used by the OIG in its comparative analysis was flawed since the analysis was of

 

 

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privately operated facilities and BOP facilities that were dissimilar in number and demographics (14 private facilities with approximately 28,000 beds and an inmate population made up of 96% non-U.S. citizens compared to 14 BOP facilities with approximately 22,600 inmates of which only 12% were non-U.S. citizens).

In its report, the OIG acknowledged that “inmates from different countries or who are incarcerated in various geographical regions may have different cultures, behaviors, and communication methods” and that “incidents in any prison are usually a result of conflict of cultures, misinterpreting behaviors, or failing to communicate well.” The OIG report went on to say that “without the BOP conducting an in-depth study into the influence of such demographic factors on prison incidents, it would not be possible to determine their impact.” In its response to the OIG report, the BOP itself stated, “we continue to caution against drawing comparisons of contract prisons to BOP operated facilities as the different nature of the inmate populations and programs offered in each facility limit such comparisons.”

Second, the OIG failed to use nationally recognized performance ratings for its comparative analysis such as the BOP’s Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting (“CPAR”) System ratings which are generally used in an annual assessment conducted by on-site monitors; the standards used by the American Correctional Association (“ACA”) for accrediting prisons, jails and community reentry facilities; or the standards used by The Joint Commission (“TJC”) for accrediting the healthcare operations at correctional facilities. A review of these nationally recognized performance ratings would have revealed that GEO’s BOP facilities have received exemplary CPAR ratings, have achieved current ACA accreditation scores ranging from 99.28% to 100.0%, and are accredited by TJC. Instead, the OIG developed its own categories of security indicators without indicating why these standards were more relevant or significant than the standards referenced above that we believe are more established.

Despite these shortcomings, we believe that the OIG report actually shows that privately managed facilities were comparably as safe and secure as BOP facilities and in many important respects are safer. Specifically, privately operated facilities had one-third the rate of deaths as the BOP prisons as well as fewer suicides. Private facilities also had significantly lower rates of inmate-on-inmate and staff-on-inmate incidents of sexual misconduct. Additionally, private facilities had significantly lower rates of positive inmate drug tests and fewer drug confiscations. Similarly, private facilities had fewer inmate fights, fewer disruptive behavior incidents, fewer uses of force, and fewer overall inmate grievances.

Despite these findings, the OIG report chose to deemphasize them and instead focused on other safety indicators such as only selected grievance categories where BOP prisons performed better than private facilities. In other areas, we believe the OIG arguably misinterpreted the data. For instance, the OIG concluded that higher rates of contraband confiscations in private facilities should be viewed negatively even though higher confiscation rates we believe are the result of more proactive and effective contraband detection processes in private facilities compared to BOP facilities. Similarly, the OIG report found that private facilities experienced higher rates of guilty findings related to inmate disciplinary proceedings, which was portrayed negatively even though a higher rate of guilty findings we believe is the result of better documentation of the evidence pertaining to inmate disciplinary cases. In another finding, the OIG report concluded that private facilities monitored a lower rate of inmate telephone calls; however as the OIG report itself pointed out, private facilities were not contractually required to monitor inmate telephone calls. With respect to the rate of facility lockdowns and incident rates in several other categories, which are also mentioned in the report, we believe that the aforementioned population demographic differences, which were acknowledged by the OIG and the BOP, significantly limit the ability to accurately compare the data between private facilities and BOP prisons.

For all these reasons and contrary to the DOJ memorandum, we believe that private facilities are comparably as safe and secure as BOP prisons, and in fact are safer in many of the security indicators used by the OIG report

 

 

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including inmate death rates, suicides, drug use, sexual misconduct, disruptive behavior, uses of force, and overall grievances. Additionally, contrary to the statements in the DOJ memorandum, we believe private facilities achieve significant annual savings for taxpayers. The OIG report itself provided cost data which showed that the fiscal year 2014 annual per capita costs calculated by the BOP were $22,159 for private facilities and $25,251 for BOP institutions, demonstrating that private facilities achieve a 12% cost savings.

Additionally, and in light of the DOJ announcement in August, the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, instructed the Homeland Security Advisory Council, or HSAC, to review ICE’s current policy and practices relating to its use of private immigration detention operations and evaluate whether ICE should move in the same direction as the BOP. In December 2016, a HSAC Subcommittee completed its review and issued its Report of the Subcommittee on Privatized Immigration Detention Facilities. In its report, the HSAC Subcommittee stated that fiscal considerations, combined with the need for realistic capacity to handle sudden increases in detention, indicate that DHS’s use of private immigration detention will continue and that at least with regard to the capacity to respond to sudden surges in migration flows, contracts with private immigration detention contractors represent a better alternative. Additionally, the report concluded that federally owned and directed facilities are more expensive than other types of detention. The HSAC Subcommittee stated that ICE reports that the average cost of a day in a federally owned facility is $184.35 per person verses $144.23 in a privately-contracted detention facility. Furthermore, the HSAC Subcommittee estimated that one-time transition costs to federally owned facilities would exceed $1.3 billion and could be as much as $5-6 billion.

We are fully committed to operating our facilities and programs at the highest level, providing safe, secure and humane surroundings for those in our custody and care, our staff and the communities in which we operate. We believe we provide our government partners, including the BOP and ICE, with facilities that maximize security and efficiency while offering our suite of GEO Continuum of Care services and resources. On September 30, 2016, as discussed below, we announced that the BOP extended our contract for our company-owned D. Ray James Correctional Facility. We believe this decision validates our belief that we operate facilities that maximize security and efficiency while offering our suite of GEO Continuum of Care services and resources. Notwithstanding the above, the BOP or other federal, state or local governmental partners may choose to cancel, decline to renew or modify the scope of our existing contracts with them, which may have a material adverse impact on our operations and financial results.

On February 21, 2017, the Attorney General issued a memorandum rescinding the August 18, 2016 memorandum from the former Deputy Attorney General. We welcome the memorandum by the Attorney General reinstating the continued use of privately operated facilities. We believe that the decision made last August was based on a misrepresentation of the report issued by the OIG. We are proud of our long-standing partnership with the BOP and our strong record of providing safe, secure and humane care to the men and women entrusted to us. We believe that we are at our best as a company when helping those entrusted to our care re-enter society as productive and employable citizens.

Senior credit facility

We are seeking to amend our senior credit facility to obtain a new $700.0 million term loan, the proceeds of which will be used to refinance our existing term loan in the amount of $289.5 million as of December 31, 2016, to provide liquidity to fund the purchase price for the CEC acquisition discussed above, to pay fees and expenses related to the incurrence of the new term loan, to refinance a portion of our outstanding revolving credit facility and for general corporate purposes. No assurance can be given that we will be successful in consummating such an amendment to our senior credit facility on favorable terms, or at all.

 

 

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Contract awards

On December 19, 2016, we announced that we had signed a contract with ICE for 780 beds at an existing company-owned facility in Folkston, Georgia which will be named the Folkston ICE Processing Center (the “Center”). The Center will house immigration detainees under a five-year intergovernmental service agreement between Charlton County, Georgia and ICE. The Center is located adjacent to our company-owned D. Ray James Correctional facility. The Center began intake during the first quarter of 2017.

On September 30, 2016, we announced that the BOP has extended our contract for our company-owned D. Ray James Correctional Facility for a two-year renewal term through September 30, 2018 for the housing of up to 1,900 beds with a fixed payment for 1,800 beds compared to our previous contract which contained a fixed payment for 1,962 beds.

Quarterly dividend

On February 6, 2017, our Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.70 per share. The quarterly cash dividend was paid on February 27, 2017 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 17, 2017. The declaration of future quarterly cash dividends is subject to approval by our Board of Directors and to meeting the requirements of all applicable laws and regulations. Our Board of Directors retains the power to modify our dividend policy as it may deem necessary or appropriate in the future.

Corporate information

Our principal executive offices are located at One Park Place, Suite 700, 621 Northwest 53rd Street, Boca Raton, Florida 33487 and our telephone number is (866) 301-4GEO. We also maintain a website at www.geogroup.com where general information about the Company is available. The information contained on or accessible through GEO’s website is not part of this prospectus supplement, other than the documents that GEO files with the SEC that are expressly incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement. See “Incorporation by reference.”

 

 

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The offering

 

Issuer

The GEO Group, Inc.

 

Common stock offered by us

6,000,000 shares (6,900,000 shares if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full).

 

Common stock outstanding following the offering(1)

81,268,993 shares (82,168,993 shares if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full).

 

Underwriter option to purchase additional shares

We have granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional 900,000 shares from us at the public offering price, less underwriting discounts and commissions, within 30 days of the date of this prospectus supplement.

 

New York Stock Exchange symbol

“GEO”

 

Use of proceeds

We estimate that the net proceeds from this offering, after deducting the underwriting discount and commissions and our estimated offering expenses, will be approximately $239.7 million (or $ 275.8 million if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full).

 

  We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay amounts outstanding under the revolver portion of our senior credit facility and for general corporate purposes. See “Use of Proceeds.”

 

Risk factors

Investing in our common stock involves substantial risk. See the information under the caption “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-13 of this prospectus supplement.

 

Dividend policy

As a REIT, we are required to distribute annually at least 90% of our REIT taxable income (determined without regard to the dividends paid deduction and by excluding net capital gain). The amount, timing and frequency of future distributions will be at the sole discretion of our Board of Directors and will be declared based upon various factors, many of which are beyond our control, including, our financial condition and operating cash flows, the amount required to maintain REIT status and reduce any income taxes that we otherwise would be required to pay, limitations on distributions in our existing and future debt instruments, limitations on our ability to fund distributions using cash generated through our TRS and other factors that our Board of Directors may deem relevant.

 

  During the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, we declared and paid regular quarterly cash dividends to our shareholders which were treated as qualified and non-qualified ordinary income dividends and non dividend distributions for federal income tax purposes.

 

 

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  We intend to continue paying regular quarterly cash dividends consistent with our stated expectation to pay at least 75% of our adjusted funds from operations (“AFFO”) in dividends with a goal to increase our dividend payout ratio over time. The amount, timing and frequency of our future dividends will be at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors based upon the factors mentioned above. See “Dividend policy.”

 

Ownership and transfer restrictions

To assist us in complying with the limitations on the concentration of ownership of a REIT imposed by the Code, among other purposes, our articles of incorporation generally prohibit, among other prohibitions and subject to certain exceptions and the constructive ownership rules under the Code, any shareholders from beneficially or constructively owning more than 9.8% in value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of any class or series of outstanding capital stock.

 

(1)   The number of shares of common stock to be outstanding immediately following this offering is based on 75,268,993 shares outstanding as of March 6, 2017.

 

 

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Summary historical financial and other data

The following table sets forth the summary historical financial and other data of us and our consolidated subsidiaries at the dates and for the periods indicated. The summary consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 and the summary condensed consolidated statements of comprehensive income data and certain other financial data for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2016 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement.

The information presented below should be read in conjunction with the historical consolidated financial statements of GEO, including the related notes, and with GEO’s “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement. All amounts are presented in thousands except operational data.

 

      Year ended  
      December 31,
2016
    December 31,
2015
    December 31,
2014
 

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income:

      

Revenues

   $ 2,179,490     $ 1,843,307     $ 1,691,620  

Operating costs and expenses:

      

Operating expenses (excluding depreciation and amortization)

     1,650,281       1,363,782       1,245,700  

Depreciation and amortization

     114,916       106,756       96,171  

General and administrative expenses

     148,709       137,040       115,018  
  

 

 

 

Total operating costs and expenses

   $ 1,913,906     $ 1,607,578     $ 1,456,889  
  

 

 

 

Operating income

     265,584       235,729       234,731  

Interest income

     28,496       11,578       4,747  

Interest expense(1)

     (128,718     (106,136     (87,368

Loss on extinguishment of debt

     (15,885            
  

 

 

 

Income before income taxes and equity in earnings of affiliates

   $ 149,477     $ 141,171     $ 152,110  

Income tax provision

     7,904       7,389       14,093  

Equity in earnings of affiliates, net of income tax

     6,925       5,533       5,823  
  

 

 

 

Net income

   $ 148,498     $ 139,315     $ 143,840  

Less: loss attributable to noncontrolling interests

     217       123       90  
  

 

 

 

Net income attributable to The GEO Group, Inc.

   $ 148,715     $ 139,438     $ 143,930  

 

 

 

 

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      Year ended  
      December 31,
2016
    December 31,
2015
    December 31,
2014
 

Business Segment Data:

      

Revenues:

      

U.S. Corrections & Detention

   $ 1,375,277     $ 1,240,440     $ 1,108,397  

GEO Care

     394,449       340,918       329,253  

International Services

     157,363       154,902       197,992  

Facility Construction & Design

     252,401       107,047       55,978  
  

 

 

 

Total revenues

   $ 2,179,490     $ 1,843,307     $ 1,691,620  
  

 

 

 

Operating income

      

U.S. Corrections & Detention

   $ 296,078     $ 281,945     $ 263,027  

GEO Care

     111,780       82,806       80,152  

International Services

     5,809       7,666       6,130  

Facility Construction & Design

     626       352       440  

Unallocated G&A expenses

     (148,709     (137,040     (115,018
  

 

 

 

Total operating income

   $ 265,584       235,729     $ 234,731  
  

 

 

 

Balance Sheet Data (at period end):

      

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 68,038     $ 59,638     $ 41,337  

Restricted cash and investments

     37,981       28,725       23,919  

Accounts receivable, net

     356,255       314,097       269,038  

Property and equipment, net

     1,897,241       1,916,386       1,772,166  

Total assets

     3,749,409       3,462,227       3,002,208  

Total debt (less unamortized debt issuance cost)

     2,456,725       2,135,857       1,621,395  

Total shareholders’ equity

     974,957       1,006,837       1,045,993  

Other Financial Data:

      

Net cash (used in) provided by operating activities

   $ (28,028   $ 142,157     $ 202,541  

Net cash used in investing activities

     (84,360     (452,880     (121,170

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

     119,668       332,250       (88,900

Capital expenditures

     81,565       117,581       114,224  

Depreciation and amortization expense

     114,916       106,756       96,171  

EBITDA(2)

     389,766       350,056       339,027  

Adjusted EBITDA(2)

     403,743       368,720       349,147  

Funds From Operations(3)

     208,942       197,196       196,890  

Normalized Funds From Operations(3)

     223,986       204,259       197,571  

Adjusted Funds From Operations (AFFO)(3)

     279,198       248,378       232,867  

Other Operational Data (end of period):

      

Facilities in operation(4)

     104       104       92  

Operations capacity of contracts(4)

     83,599       83,878       75,302  

Compensated mandays(5)

     25,482,373       23,841,256       22,390,904  

 

 

 

(1)   Interest expense excludes the following capitalized interest amounts for the periods presented:

 

December 31,

2016

   Year ended
December 31,
2015
     December 31,
2014
 

$473

   $ 976      $ 731  

 

 

 

 

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(2)   We define EBITDA as income from continuing operations before net interest expense, income tax provision (benefit), loss on extinguishment of debt, depreciation and amortization, and tax provision on equity in earnings of affiliates. We define Adjusted EBITDA as EBITDA further adjusted for net income/loss attributable to non-controlling interests, non-cash stock-based compensation expenses, pre-tax, and certain other adjustments as defined from time to time, including for the periods presented non-cash mark to market adjustments for derivative instruments, start-up expenses, pre-tax, M&A related expenses, pre-tax, and gain on sale of real estate assets, pre-tax. We believe that Adjusted EBITDA is useful to investors as it provides information about the performance of our overall business because such measure eliminates the effects of certain charges that are not directly attributable to our underlying operating performance, it provides disclosure on the same basis as that used by our management and it provides consistency in our financial reporting and therefore continuity to investors for comparability purposes. We use Adjusted EBITDA to monitor and evaluate our operating performance and to facilitate internal and external comparisons of our historical operating performance and our business units. For a further discussion of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA, including their limitations as financial measures, see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

The following table provides a reconciliation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA to income from continuing operations computed in accordance with GAAP:

 

      Year ended  
      December 31,
2016
    December 31,
2015
     December 31,
2014
 

Income from continuing operations

   $ 148,498     $ 139,315      $ 143,840  

Interest expense, net

     100,222       94,558        82,621  

Income tax provision

     7,904       7,389        14,093  

Loss on extinguishment of debt

     15,885               

Depreciation and amortization expense

     114,916       106,756        96,171  

Tax provision on equity in earnings of affiliates

     2,341       2,038        2,302  
  

 

 

 

EBITDA

   $ 389,766     $ 350,056      $ 339,027  

Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests

     217       123        90  

Stock based compensation expenses, pre-tax

     12,773       11,709        8,909  

Non-cash Mark to Market Adjustment-Derivative Instruments

                  1,121  

Start-up expenses, pre-tax

     1,939       4,658         

M&A related expenses, pre-tax

           2,174         

Gain on sale of real estate assets, pre-tax

     (952             
  

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA

   $ 403,743     $ 368,720      $ 349,147  

 

 

 

(3)   We define Funds From Operations, or FFO, in accordance with standards established by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, or NAREIT, which defines FFO as net income (loss) attributable to common shareholders (computed in accordance with GAAP), excluding real estate related depreciation and amortization, excluding gains and losses from the cumulative effects of accounting changes, extraordinary items and sales of properties, and including adjustments for unconsolidated partnerships and joint ventures. We define Normalized Funds From Operations, or Normalized FFO, as FFO adjusted for certain items which by their nature are not comparable from period to period or that tend to obscure our actual operating performance, including for the periods presented start-up expenses, net of tax, M&A related expenses, net of tax, non-recurring tax benefits and loss on extinguishment of debt, net of tax. We define Adjusted Funds From Operations, or AFFO, as Normalized Funds From Operations adjusted by adding non-cash expenses such as non-real estate related depreciation and amortization, stock based compensation expense, the amortization of debt issuance costs, discount and/or premium and other non-cost interest, and by subtracting recurring consolidated maintenance capital expenditures and certain other adjustments as defined from time to time. We believe that Funds From Operations, Normalized Funds From Operations, and Adjusted Funds From Operations are useful measures to investors as they provide information regarding cash that our operating business generates before taking into account certain cash and non-cash items that are non-operational in nature, provide disclosure on the same basis as that used by our management and provide consistency in our financial reporting and therefore continuity to investors for comparability purposes. Our management uses these measures to monitor and evaluate our operating performance and to facilitate internal and external comparisons of our historical operating performance and our business units. For a further discussion of Funds From Operations, Normalized Funds From Operations and Adjusted Funds From Operations, including their limitations as financial measures, see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures.”

 

 

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The following table provides a reconciliation of Funds From Operations, Normalized Funds From Operations and Adjusted Funds From Operations to income from continuing operations computed in accordance with GAAP:

 

      Year ended  
      December 31,
2016
    December 31,
2015
    December 31,
2014
 

Net Income

   $ 148,498     $ 139,315     $ 143,840  

Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests

     217       123       90  

Real estate related depreciation and amortization

     61,179       57,758       52,960  

Gain on sale of real estate assets, net of tax

     (952            
  

 

 

 

Funds From Operations

   $ 208,942     $ 197,196     $ 196,890  

Start-up expenses, net of tax

     1,190       4,831        

M&A related expenses, net of tax

           2,232       681  

Non-recurring tax benefits

     (2,031            

Loss on extinguishment of debt, net of tax

     15,885              
  

 

 

 

Normalized Funds From Operations

   $ 223,986     $ 204,259     $ 197,571  

Non-real estate related depreciation and amortization

     53,737       48,998       43,211  

Consolidated maintenance capital expenditures-real estate and non-real estate related

     (23,419     (23,551     (23,277

Stock based compensation expense

     12,773       11,709       8,909  

Amortization of debt issuance costs, discount and/or premium and other non-cash interest

     12,121       6,963       6,453  
  

 

 

 

Adjusted Funds From Operations

   $ 279,198     $ 248,378     $ 232,867  

 

 

 

(4)   Excludes idle facilities and assets held for sale.

 

(5)   Compensated mandays are calculated as follows: (a) for per diem rate facilities-the number of beds occupied by residents on a daily basis during the fiscal year; and (b) for fixed rate facilities-the capacity of the facility multiplied by the number of days the facility was in operation during the fiscal year.

 

 

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Risk factors

This section describes some, but not all, of the risks of investing in our common stock. The accompanying base prospectus also contains a “Risk factors” section beginning on page 7 thereof. You should carefully consider these risks, in addition to the risk factors and other information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement or the accompanying base prospectus, including matters discussed under “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, before making a decision whether to invest in our common stock. See “Incorporation by Reference.” You should carefully review the factors discussed below and the cautionary statements referred to in “Special note regarding forward-looking statements.” If any of the risks and uncertainties described below or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement actually occur, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected. In that case, the trading price of our common stock could decline and you could lose all or part of your investment.

Risks related to this offering and our common stock

The market price of our common stock may vary substantially.

The trading prices of equity securities issued by REITs have historically been affected by changes in market interest rates. One of the factors that may influence the market price of our common stock is the annual yield from distributions on our common stock as compared to yields on other financial instruments. An increase in market interest rates, or a decrease in our distributions to shareholders, may lead prospective purchasers of our shares to demand a higher annual yield, which could reduce the market price of our common stock.

Other factors that could affect the market price of our common stock include the following:

 

 

actual or anticipated variations in our quarterly results of operations;

 

changes in market valuations of companies in our industry;

 

changes in expectations of future financial performance or changes in estimates of securities analysts;

 

fluctuations in stock market prices and volumes;

 

issuances of common stock or other securities in the future;

 

the addition or departure of key personnel;

 

announcements by us or our competitors of acquisitions, investments or strategic alliances;

 

changes in the prospects of public-private partnerships in the corrections and detention industry; and

 

the addition or loss of any equity analyst coverage.

In August 2016, the DOJ issued a memorandum directed to the BOP which stated that the BOP should either decline to renew or substantially reduce the scope of contract renewals in a manner consistent with law and the overall decline of the BOP’s inmate populations. After that announcement, the market price of our common stock declined. Since August 2016, the closing market price of our common stock has ranged between $19.51 and $48.97 per share.

Future sales of shares of our common stock could adversely affect the market price of our common stock and may be dilutive to current shareholders.

Sales of shares of our common stock, or the perception that such sales could occur, could adversely affect the price for our common stock. As of March 6, 2017, there were 125,000,000 shares of common stock authorized under our Articles of Incorporation, of which 75,268,993 shares were outstanding. Our Board of Directors may authorize the issuance of additional authorized but unissued shares of our common stock or other authorized but unissued securities of ours at any time, including pursuant to equity incentive plans and stock purchase plans.

 

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In September 2014, we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission an automatic shelf registration statement on Form S-3 allowing us to offer, from time to time and among other securities, an indeterminate amount of common stock, subject to certain market conditions and other factors. Accordingly, we may, from time to time, seek to offer and sell shares of our common stock based upon market conditions and other factors. On November 10, 2014, in connection with the new shelf registration, we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission a new prospectus supplement related to the offer and sale from time to time of our common stock at an aggregate offering price of up to $150 million through sales agents. Sales of shares of our common stock under the prospectus supplement and the equity distribution agreements entered into with the sales agents, if any, may be made in negotiated transactions or transactions that are deemed to be “at the market” offerings as defined in Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933. An offering of shares of our common stock may have a dilutive effect on our earnings per share and funds from operations per share after giving effect to the issuance of our common stock in this offering and the receipt of the expected net proceeds. The market price of our common stock could decline as a result of sales of a large number of shares of our common stock in the market pursuant to an offering, or otherwise, or as a result of the perception or expectation that such sales could occur.

Our management will have broad discretion over the use of the net proceeds from this offering, and you may not agree with how we use the proceeds.

Our management will have broad discretion as to the application of the net proceeds and could use them for purposes other than those contemplated at the time of this offering. Currently, we intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay existing indebtedness outstanding under the revolver portion of our senior credit facility and for general corporate purposes. Accordingly, you may be relying on the judgment of our management with regard to the use of these net proceeds, and you will not have the opportunity, as part of your investment decision, to assess whether the proceeds are being used appropriately. It is possible that the proceeds will be invested in a way that could have a material adverse effect on our business and cause the price of our common stock to decline.

Various anti-takeover protections applicable to us may make an acquisition of us more difficult and reduce the market value of our common stock.

We are a Florida corporation and the anti-takeover provisions of Florida law impose various impediments to the ability of a third party to acquire control of our company, even if a change of control would be beneficial to our shareholders. In addition, provisions of our articles of incorporation may make an acquisition of us more difficult. Our articles of incorporation authorize the issuance by our Board of Directors of “blank check” preferred stock without shareholder approval. Such shares of preferred stock could be given voting rights, dividend rights, liquidation rights or other similar rights superior to those of our common stock, making a takeover of us more difficult and expensive. In addition to discouraging takeovers, the anti-takeover provisions of Florida law and our articles of incorporation may have the impact of reducing the market value of our common stock.

We may issue additional debt securities that could limit our operating flexibility and negatively affect the value of our common stock.

In the future, we may issue additional debt securities which may be governed by an indenture or other instrument containing covenants that could place restrictions on the operation of our business and the execution of our business strategy in addition to the restrictions on our business already contained in the agreements governing our existing debt. In addition, we may choose to issue debt that is convertible or

 

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exchangeable for other securities, including our common stock, or that has rights, preferences and privileges senior to our common stock. Because any decision to issue debt securities will depend on market conditions and other factors beyond our control, we cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing or nature of any future debt financings and we may be required to accept unfavorable terms for any such financings. Accordingly, any future issuance of debt could dilute the interest of holders of our common stock and reduce the value of our common stock. Additionally, a downgrade of the credit ratings of GEO and our existing debt or future debt could also adversely affect our access to liquidity and capital, could increase our cost of funds, and decrease the number of investors and counterparties willing to lend to us or to purchase our securities which could also reduce the value of our common stock.

In addition to the risks set forth in this prospectus supplement, our business is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could materially affect our business, financial condition or future results. These risks are discussed in our annual and quarterly reports and other documents we file with the SEC and are incorporated by reference herein. You should carefully consider these risks before investing in our common stock. See “Incorporation by Reference.”

 

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Use of proceeds

We estimate that the net proceeds from this offering, after deducting the underwriting discount and commissions and our estimated offering expenses, will be approximately $239.7 million (or $275.8 million if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full).

We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay amounts outstanding under the revolver portion of our senior credit facility and for general corporate purposes. The revolver portion of our senior credit facility bears interest currently at LIBOR plus 2.25% and matures on May 19, 2021. Affiliates of certain of the underwriters are lenders under our revolving credit facility and will receive a portion of the proceeds.

Pending the application of the net proceeds, we may invest the proceeds in short-term, interest-bearing instruments or other investment-grade securities.

 

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Capitalization

The following table sets forth our capitalization as of December 31, 2016:

 

 

on an actual basis;

 

 

on an as adjusted basis to give effect to the issuance and sale of our common stock offered hereby and the application of the estimated net proceeds therefrom as set forth under “Use of proceeds,” assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares.

This table is derived from, should be read together with, and is qualified in its entirety by reference to, the information contained in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our audited consolidated financial statements contained in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, which is incorporated by reference herein.

 

      As of December 31, 2016  
      Actual      As adjusted  
     (in thousands)  

Cash and cash equivalents (unrestricted)

   $ 68,038      $ 68,038  
  

 

 

 

Senior Credit Facility:

     

Term loan(1)

   $ 289,500      $ 289,500  

Revolver(2)

     515,000        275,262  
  

 

 

 

Total Senior Credit Facility

     804,500        564,762  

6.00% senior notes due in 2026

     350,000        350,000  

5.875% senior notes due in 2024

     250,000        250,000  

5.125% senior notes due in 2023

     300,000        300,000  

5.875% senior notes due in 2022

     250,000        250,000  

Capital lease obligations

     8,693        8,693  

Other debt

     3,030        3,030  
  

 

 

 

Total Debt, excluding non-recourse debt

     1,966,223        1,726,485  

Non-recourse debt (less discounts)(3)

     490,502        490,502  
  

 

 

 

Total Debt

     2,456,725        2,216,987  

Total Shareholders’ Equity(4)

     974,957        1,214,695  

Total Capitalization

   $ 3,431,682      $ 3,431,682  

 

(1)   The Term Loan matures on April 3, 2020.

 

(2)   The “as adjusted” amount assumes the repayment of $239.7 million under the revolver portion of our senior credit facility. The total available amount under our revolver as of December 31, 2016 on an as adjusted basis, giving effect to the issuance and sale of our common stock offered hereby and the application of the estimated net proceeds therefrom as set forth under “Use of proceeds,” assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares, is $571.1 million after taking into account $53.6 million of letters of credit outstanding thereunder. The Company’s amended credit agreement, as amended, evidences a credit facility consisting of a $291 million term loan and a $900 million revolver together with AUD 115 million available solely for the issuance of financial letters of credit, in each case denominated in Australian Dollars (the “Australian LC Facility”) as of December 31, 2016. The AUD 115.0 million of letters of credit, as of December 31, 2016, under the Australian LC Facility do not impact the amount of available borrowing capacity under the revolver. The revolver matures on May 19, 2021. The weighted average interest rate on outstanding borrowings under the senior credit facility as of December 31, 2016 was 3.1%. We also have the ability to increase the senior credit facility by an additional $450 million, subject to lender demand, prevailing market conditions and satisfying the borrowing conditions thereunder as of December 31, 2016.

 

(3)   Our non-recourse debt consists of debt related to two Australian subsidiaries and one domestic facility. Our wholly-owned Australian subsidiary financed the development of a facility with long-term debt obligations which are non-recourse to us and is matched by a corresponding commitment from the government of the State of Victoria, Australia. Additionally, another Australian subsidiary is developing a new 1,300 bed prison under a Public-Private Partnership in Ravenhall, just outside Melbourne. The obligation is non-recourse to us and is matched by a contract receivable from the State of Victoria, Australia. One of our domestic facility operating contracts was financed by taxable project revenue bonds which are non-recourse to us.

 

(4)   Total Shareholders’ Equity as of December 31, 2016 on an as adjusted basis, giving effect to the issuance and sale of common stock offered hereby, is increased by $239.7 million equal to the estimated net proceeds after deducting the estimated underwriting discount and commissions and our estimated offering expenses, assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares.

 

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Price range of common stock

Our common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, under the symbol “GEO.” The following table shows, for the periods indicated, the high and low sales prices for our common stock, as reported on the NYSE, as well as the dividend paid per share in such period. The prices shown have been rounded to the nearest $1/100.

 

      Price per share
of common stock
     Dividends
per share
 
      High      Low     

2015

        

First quarter

   $ 45.25      $ 40.20      $ 0.62  

Second quarter

     44.85        33.90        0.62  

Third quarter

     38.06        28.83        0.62  

Fourth quarter

     34.05        26.00        0.65  

2016

        

First quarter

     35.05        25.52        0.65  

Second quarter

     34.85        30.74        0.65  

Third quarter

     35.14        16.26        0.65  

Fourth quarter

     36.00        22.60        0.65  

2017

        

First Quarter (through March 7, 2017)

     49.42        35.85        0.70  

On March 7, 2017, the last sales price of our common stock as reported on the NYSE was $44.73 per share.

The number of shareholders of record of our common stock was approximately 623 as of March 6, 2017.

 

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Dividend policy

As a REIT, we are required to distribute annually at least 90% of our REIT taxable income (determined without regard to the dividends paid deduction and by excluding net capital gain). The amount, timing and frequency of future distributions will be at the sole discretion of our Board of Directors and will be declared based upon various factors, many of which are beyond our control, including, our financial condition and operating cash flows, the amount required to maintain REIT status and reduce any income taxes that we otherwise would be required to pay, limitations on distributions in our existing and future debt instruments, limitations on our ability to fund distributions using cash generated through our TRS and other factors that our Board of Directors may deem relevant.

During the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, we declared and paid the following regular cash distributions to our shareholders which were treated as qualified and non-qualified ordinary income dividends and non dividend distributions for federal income tax purposes as stated below:

 

                          Ordinary dividends            Capital gains                       
Declaration date   Payment date     Record date    

Distribution

per share

    Total     Qualified(1)    

Non-

qualified

    Total    

Unrecaptured

section 1250

   

Long

term

   

Non

dividend

distributions(2)

   

Aggregate

payment

amount

(in
millions)

 

February 6, 2015

   
February 27,
2015
 
 
   
February 17,
2015
 
 
    0.62       0.4669470       0.0529749       0.4139721                         0.1530530       46.0  

April 29, 2015

    May 21, 2015       May 11, 2015       0.62       0.4669470       0.0529749       0.4139721                         0.1530530       46.3  

July 31, 2015

   
August 24,
2015
 
 
   
August 14,
2015
 
 
    0.62       0.4669470       0.0529749       0.4139721                         0.1530530       46.3  

November 3, 2015

   
November 25,
2015
 
 
   
November 16,
2015
 
 
    0.65       0.4895412       0.0555382       0.434003                         0.1604588       48.5  
     

 

 

 

Totals

      $ 2.51     $ 1.8903822     $ 0.2144629     $ 1.6759193     $     $     $     $ 0.6196178     $ 187.1  
     

 

 

 

Percentage

        100.0%       75.3%       11.3%       88.7%       0.0%       0.0%       0.0%       24.7%    

February 3, 2016

   
February 26,
2016
 
 
   
February 16,
2016
 
 
    0.65       0.5070021       0.0740419       0.4329602                         0.1429979       48.5  

April 20, 2016

    May 12, 2016       May 2, 2016       0.65       0.5070021       0.0740419       0.4329602                         0.1429979       48.7  

July 20, 2016

   
August 12,
2016
 
 
   
August 1,
2016
 
 
    0.65       0.5070021       0.0740419       0.4329602                         0.1429979       48.7  

October 18, 2016

   
November 10,
2016
 
 
   
October 31,
2016
 
 
    0.65       0.5070021       0.0740419       0.4329602             0.1429979       48.8  
     

 

 

 

Totals

      $ 2.60     $ 2.0280084     $ 0.2961676     $ 1.7318408     $     $     $     $ 0.5719916     $ 194.7  
     

 

 

 

Percentage

        100.0%       78.0%       14.6%       85.4%       0.0%       0.0%       0.0%       22.0%    

 

 

 

(1)   Qualified Dividends represents the portion of the Total Ordinary Dividends which constitutes a “Qualified Dividend”, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service.

 

(2)   The amount constitutes a “Return of Capital”, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service.

On February 6, 2017, our Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.70 per share. The quarterly cash dividend was paid on February 27, 2017 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 17, 2017.

We intend to continue paying regular quarterly cash dividends consistent with our stated expectation to pay at least 75% of our AFFO in dividends with a goal to increase our dividend payout ratio over time. The amount, timing and frequency of our future dividends will be at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors based upon the factors mentioned above.

In addition to these factors, the indentures governing our 6.00% Senior Notes, 5.125% Senior Notes, 5.875% Senior Notes due 2024, 5.875% Senior Notes due 2022 and our Senior Credit Facility also place material restrictions on our ability to pay dividends. See the Liquidity and Capital Resources section in “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and Note 13—Debt in “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, for further description of these restrictions. We believe we have the ability to continue to fund our working capital, our debt service requirements, and our maintenance and growth capital expenditure requirements, while maintaining sufficient liquidity for other corporate purposes.

 

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United States federal income tax consequences

The following is a summary of the U.S. federal income tax consequences generally applicable to an investment in our common stock. For purposes of this section under the heading “United States Federal Income Tax Consequences,” references to “The GEO Group, Inc.,” “we,” “our” and “us” generally mean only The GEO Group, Inc. and not its subsidiaries or other lower-tier entities, except as otherwise indicated, and references to “tenants” are to persons who are treated as lessees of real property for purposes of the REIT requirements including, in general, persons who are referred to as “customers” elsewhere in this prospectus. This summary is based upon the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), the regulations promulgated by the Treasury, rulings and other administrative pronouncements issued by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), and judicial decisions, all as currently in effect, and all of which are subject to differing interpretations or to change, possibly with retroactive effect. No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert, or that a court would not sustain, a position contrary to any of the tax consequences described below. The summary is also based upon the assumption that we and our subsidiaries and affiliated entities will operate in accordance with our and their applicable organizational documents. This summary is for general information only and is not tax advice. It does not discuss any state, local or non-U.S. tax consequences relevant to us or an investment in our common stock, and it does not purport to discuss all aspects of U.S. federal income taxation that may be important to a particular investor in light of its investment or tax circumstances or to investors subject to special tax rules, such as:

 

 

financial institutions;

 

 

insurance companies;

 

 

broker-dealers;

 

 

regulated investment companies;

 

 

partnerships, other pass-through entities and trusts;

 

 

persons who hold our stock on behalf of other persons as nominees;

 

 

persons who receive our stock through the issuance of restricted stock pursuant to our equity compensation plans;

 

 

persons holding our stock as part of a “straddle,” “hedge,” “conversion transaction,” “synthetic security” or other integrated investment;

and, except to the extent discussed below:

 

 

tax-exempt organizations; and

 

foreign investors.

This summary assumes that investors will hold their common stock as a capital asset, which generally means property held for investment.

The U.S. federal income tax treatment of holders of our common stock depends in some instances on determinations of fact and interpretations of complex provisions of U.S. federal income tax law for which no clear precedent or authority may be available. In addition, the tax consequences to any particular stockholder of holding our common stock will depend on the stockholder’s particular tax circumstances. You are urged to consult your tax advisor regarding the U.S. federal, state, local, and foreign income and other tax consequences to you in light of your particular investment or tax circumstances of acquiring, holding, exchanging, or otherwise disposing of our common stock.

 

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Taxation of The GEO Group, Inc.

We elected to be taxed as a REIT commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2013. We believe that we have been organized and have operated, in a manner that allows us to qualify for taxation as a REIT under the applicable provisions of the Code commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2013. We currently intend to continue to be organized and to operate in this manner.

The law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has acted as our special REIT tax counsel (“Special Tax Counsel”) in connection with our formation and election to be taxed as a REIT. In connection with this offering of our common stock, we have received an opinion of Special Tax Counsel to the effect that we have been organized and have operated in conformity with the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the Code commencing with our taxable year ended December 31, 2013, and that our proposed method of operation will enable us to continue to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT. It must be emphasized that the opinion of Special Tax Counsel is based on various assumptions relating to our organization and operation, and is conditioned upon fact-based representations and covenants made by our management regarding our organization, assets, and income, and the present and future conduct of our business operations. While we intend to operate so that we will continue to qualify as a REIT, given the highly complex nature of the rules governing REITs, the ongoing importance of factual determinations, and the possibility of future changes in our circumstances, no assurance can be given by Special Tax Counsel or by us that we will qualify as a REIT for any particular year. The opinion is expressed as of the date issued. Special Tax Counsel will have no obligation to advise us or our stockholders of any subsequent change in the matters stated, represented or assumed, or of any subsequent change in the applicable law. You should be aware that opinions of counsel are not binding on the IRS, and no assurance can be given that the IRS will not challenge the conclusions set forth in such opinions.

Qualification and taxation as a REIT depend on our ability to meet on a continuing basis, through actual operating results, distribution levels, and diversity of stock ownership, various qualification requirements imposed upon REITs by the Code, the compliance with which will not be reviewed by Special Tax Counsel. Our ability to qualify as a REIT also requires that we satisfy certain asset tests, some of which depend upon the fair market values of assets that we own directly or indirectly. Such values may not be susceptible to a precise determination. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that the actual results of our operations for any taxable year will satisfy such requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT.

We have received a private letter ruling from the IRS with respect to certain issues relevant to our qualification as a REIT. Although we may generally rely upon the ruling, no assurance can be given that the IRS will not challenge our qualification as a REIT on the basis of other issues or facts outside the scope of the ruling.

Taxation of REITs in general

As indicated above, our qualification and taxation as a REIT depends upon our ability to meet, on a continuing basis, various qualification requirements imposed upon REITs by the Code. The material qualification requirements are summarized below under “—Requirements for Qualification—General.” While we intend to operate so that we qualify as a REIT, no assurance can be given that the IRS will not challenge our qualification or that we will be able to operate in accordance with the REIT requirements in the future. See “—Failure to Qualify.”

Provided that we qualify as a REIT, we will generally be entitled to a deduction for dividends that we pay and therefore will not be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax on our net taxable income that is currently distributed to our stockholders. This treatment substantially eliminates the “double taxation” at the corporate and stockholder levels that generally results from an investment in a C corporation. A “C corporation” is a

 

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corporation that generally is required to pay tax at the corporate level. Double taxation means taxation once at the corporate level when income is earned and once again at the stockholder level when the income is distributed. In general, the income that we generate is taxed only at the stockholder level upon a distribution of dividends to our stockholders.

Most U.S. stockholders that are individuals, trusts or estates are taxed on corporate dividends at a reduced maximum rate. With limited exceptions, however, dividends from us or from other entities that are taxed as REITs are generally not eligible for this rate and will continue to be taxed at rates applicable to ordinary income. See “—Taxation of Stockholders—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders—Distributions.”

Any net operating losses, foreign tax credits and other tax attributes generally do not pass through to our stockholders, subject to special rules for certain items such as the capital gains that we recognize. See “—Taxation of Stockholders—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders—Distributions.”

Provided we qualify as a REIT, we will nonetheless be subject to U.S. federal tax in the following circumstances:

 

 

We will be taxed at regular corporate rates on any undistributed net taxable income, including undistributed net capital gains.

 

 

We may be subject to the “alternative minimum tax” on our items of tax preference, including any deductions of net operating losses.

 

 

If we have net income from prohibited transactions, which are, in general, sales or other dispositions of inventory or property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business, other than foreclosure property, such income will be subject to a 100% tax. See “—Prohibited Transactions” and “—Foreclosure Property” below.

 

 

If we elect to treat property that we acquire in connection with a foreclosure of a mortgage loan or certain leasehold terminations as “foreclosure property,” we may thereby avoid the 100% tax on gain from a resale of that property (if the sale would otherwise constitute a prohibited transaction), but the income from the sale or operation of the property may be subject to corporate income tax at the highest applicable rate.

 

 

If we fail to satisfy the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test, as discussed below, but nonetheless maintain our qualification as a REIT because we satisfy other requirements, we will be subject to a 100% tax on an amount based on the magnitude of the failure, as adjusted to reflect the profit margin associated with our gross income.

 

 

If we violate the asset tests (other than certain de minimis violations) or other requirements applicable to REITs, as described below, and yet maintain our qualification as a REIT because there is reasonable cause for the failure and other applicable requirements are met, we may be subject to a penalty tax. In that case, the amount of the penalty tax will be at least $50,000 per failure, and, in the case of certain asset test failures, will be determined as the amount of net income generated by the nonqualifying assets in question multiplied by the highest corporate tax rate if that amount exceeds $50,000 per failure.

 

 

If we fail to distribute during each calendar year at least the sum of (i) 85% of our ordinary income for such year, (ii) 95% of our capital gain net income for such year and (iii) any undistributed net taxable income from prior periods, we will be subject to a nondeductible 4% excise tax on the excess of the required distribution over the sum of (a) the amounts that we actually distributed and (b) the amounts we retained and upon which we paid income tax at the corporate level.

 

 

We may be required to pay monetary penalties to the IRS in certain circumstances, including if we fail to meet record-keeping requirements intended to monitor our compliance with rules relating to the composition of a REIT’s stockholders, as described below in “—Requirements for Qualification—General.”

 

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A 100% tax may be imposed on transactions between us and a taxable REIT subsidiary (“TRS”) that do not reflect arm’s length terms.

 

 

If we dispose of an asset during our first five years as a REIT, we will be subject to a federal corporate level tax at the highest regular corporate rate on the gain recognized from such sale, up to the amount of the built-in gain that existed on January 1, 2013, which is based on the fair market value of such asset in excess of our tax basis in such asset as of January 1, 2013.

 

 

If we acquire appreciated assets from a corporation that is not a REIT (i.e., a corporation taxable under subchapter C of the Code) in a transaction in which the adjusted tax basis of the assets in our hands is determined by reference to the adjusted tax basis of the assets in the hands of the subchapter C corporation, we may be subject to tax on such appreciation at the highest corporate income tax rate then applicable if we subsequently recognize gain on a disposition of any such assets during the five-year period following their acquisition from the subchapter C corporation.

 

 

The earnings of our TRSs will generally be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax.

In addition, we and our subsidiaries may be subject to a variety of taxes, including payroll taxes and state, local, and foreign income, property, gross receipts and other taxes on our assets and operations. We could also be subject to tax in situations and on transactions not presently contemplated.

Requirements for qualification—general

The Code defines a REIT as a corporation, trust or association:

 

1.   that is managed by one or more trustees or directors;

 

2.   the beneficial ownership of which is evidenced by transferable shares or by transferable certificates of beneficial interest;

 

3.   that would be taxable as a domestic corporation but for its election to be subject to tax as a REIT;

 

4.   that is neither a financial institution nor an insurance company subject to specific provisions of the Code;

 

5.   the beneficial ownership of which is held by 100 or more persons;

 

6.   in which, during the last half of each taxable year, not more than 50% in value of the outstanding stock is owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer “individuals” (as defined in the Code to include specified tax-exempt entities);

 

7.   that meets other tests described below, including with respect to the nature of its income and assets; and

 

8.   that makes an election to be taxed as a REIT for the current taxable year or has made an election for a previous taxable year that has not been terminated or revoked.

The Code provides that conditions (1) through (4) must be met during the entire taxable year, and that condition (5) must be met during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months, or during a proportionate part of a shorter taxable year. Conditions (5) and (6) need not be met during a corporation’s initial tax year as a REIT (which, in our case, was 2013). Our charter contains restrictions regarding the ownership and transfers of our stock, which are intended to assist us in satisfying the stock ownership requirements described in conditions (5) and (6) above. These restrictions, however, may not ensure that we will, in all cases, be able to satisfy the share ownership requirements described in conditions (5) and (6) above. If we fail to satisfy these share ownership requirements, except as provided in the next sentence, our status as a REIT will terminate. If, however, we comply with the rules contained in applicable Treasury regulations that require us to ascertain the

 

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actual ownership of our shares and we do not know, or would not have known through the exercise of reasonable diligence, that we failed to meet the requirement described in condition (6) above, we will be treated as having met this requirement.

To monitor compliance with the stock ownership requirements, we generally are required to maintain records regarding the actual ownership of our stock. To do so, we must demand written statements each year from the record holders of significant percentages of our stock pursuant to which the record holders must disclose the actual owners of the stock (i.e., the persons required to include our dividends in their gross income). We must maintain a list of those persons failing or refusing to comply with this demand as part of our records. We could be subject to monetary penalties if we fail to comply with these record-keeping requirements. If you fail or refuse to comply with the demands, you will be required by Treasury regulations to submit a statement with your tax return disclosing your actual ownership of our stock and other information.

In addition, a corporation generally may not elect to become a REIT unless its taxable year is the calendar year. We adopted December 31 as our year-end commencing with the taxable year ended December 31, 2012, and thereby satisfy this requirement.

The Code provides relief from violations of the REIT gross income requirements (as described below in “—Income Tests”) in cases where a violation is due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect and other requirements are met, including the payment of a penalty tax that is based upon the magnitude of the violation. In addition, certain provisions of the Code extend similar relief in the case of certain violations of the REIT asset requirements (as described below in “—Asset Tests”) and other REIT requirements, again provided that the violation is due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect and other conditions are met, including the payment of a penalty tax.

If we fail to satisfy any of the various REIT requirements, there can be no assurance that these relief provisions would be available to enable us to maintain our qualification as a REIT, and, if such relief provisions are available, the amount of any resultant penalty tax could be substantial.

Effect of subsidiary entities

Disregarded subsidiaries.    If we own a corporate subsidiary that is a “qualified REIT subsidiary,” that subsidiary is generally disregarded as a separate entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and all of the subsidiary’s assets, liabilities and items of income, deduction and credit are treated as our assets, liabilities and items of income, deduction and credit, including for purposes of the gross income and asset tests applicable to REITs. A qualified REIT subsidiary is any corporation, other than a TRS (as described below), that is directly or indirectly wholly-owned by a REIT. Other entities that are wholly-owned by us, including single member limited liability companies that have not elected to be taxed as corporations for U.S. federal income tax purposes, are also generally disregarded as separate entities for U.S. federal income tax purposes, including for purposes of the REIT income and asset tests. Disregarded subsidiaries, along with any partnerships in which we hold an equity interest, are sometimes referred to herein as “pass-through subsidiaries.”

In the event that a disregarded subsidiary of ours ceases to be wholly-owned—for example, if any equity interest in the subsidiary is acquired by a person other than us or another disregarded subsidiary of ours—the subsidiary’s separate existence would no longer be disregarded for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Instead, the subsidiary would have multiple owners and would be treated as either a partnership or a taxable corporation. Such an event could, depending on the circumstances, adversely affect our ability to satisfy the various asset and gross income requirements applicable to REITs, including the requirement that REITs generally may not own, directly or indirectly, more than 10% of the outstanding securities of another corporation. See “—Asset Tests” and “—Income Tests.”

 

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Taxable REIT subsidiaries.    In general, we may jointly elect with a subsidiary corporation, whether or not wholly-owned, to treat such subsidiary corporation as a TRS. We generally may not own more than 10% of the securities of a taxable corporation, as measured by voting power or value, unless we and such corporation elect to treat such corporation as a TRS. The separate existence of a TRS or other taxable corporation is not ignored for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Accordingly, a TRS or other taxable subsidiary corporation generally is subject to corporate income tax on its earnings, which may reduce the cash flow that we and our subsidiaries generate in the aggregate, and may reduce our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.

We are not treated as holding the assets of a TRS or other taxable subsidiary corporation or as receiving any income that the subsidiary earns. Rather, the stock issued by a taxable subsidiary corporation to us is an asset in our hands, and we treat the dividends paid to us from such taxable subsidiary corporation, if any, as income. This treatment can affect our income and asset test calculations, as described below. Because we do not include the assets and income of TRSs or other taxable subsidiary corporations on a look-through basis in determining our compliance with the REIT requirements, we may use such entities to undertake indirectly activities that the REIT rules might otherwise preclude us from doing directly or through pass-through subsidiaries. For example, we may use TRSs or other taxable subsidiary corporations to perform services or conduct activities that give rise to certain categories of income such as management fees, or to conduct activities that, if conducted by us directly, would be treated in our hands as prohibited transactions.

The TRS rules limit the deductibility of interest paid or accrued by a TRS to its parent REIT to assure that the TRS is subject to an appropriate level of corporate taxation. Further, the rules impose a 100% excise tax on transactions between a TRS and its parent REIT or the REIT’s tenants that are not conducted on an arm’s length basis. We intend that all of our transactions with our TRSs will be conducted on an arm’s length basis.

We may hold a significant number of assets in one or more TRSs, subject to the limitation that securities in TRSs may not represent more than 25% (or, for 2018 and subsequent taxable years, 20%) of the value of our total assets.

Ownership of partnership interests.    If we are a partner in an entity that is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, Treasury regulations provide that we are deemed to own our proportionate share of the partnership’s assets and to earn our proportionate share of the partnership’s income, for purposes of the asset and gross income tests applicable to REITs. Our proportionate share of a partnership’s assets and income is based on our capital interest in the partnership (except that for purposes of the 10% asset value test, described below, our proportionate share of the partnership’s assets is based on our proportionate interest in the equity and certain debt securities issued by the partnership). In addition, the assets and gross income of the partnership are deemed to retain the same character in our hands. Thus, our proportionate share of the assets and items of income of any of our subsidiary partnerships will be treated as our assets and items of income for purposes of applying the REIT requirements.

We generally have control of our partnerships and limited liability companies and intend to operate them in a manner consistent with the requirements for our qualification as a REIT. If we become a limited partner or non-managing member in any partnership or limited liability company and such entity takes or expects to take actions that could jeopardize our status as a REIT or require us to pay tax, we may be forced to dispose of our interest in such entity. In addition, it is possible that a partnership or limited liability company could take an action which could cause us to fail a gross income or asset test, and that we would not become aware of such action in time to dispose of our interest in the partnership or limited liability company or take other corrective action on a timely basis. In that case, we could fail to qualify as a REIT unless we were entitled to relief, as described below.

 

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Income tests

To maintain our qualification as a REIT, we must satisfy two gross income requirements on an annual basis. First, at least 75% of our gross income for each taxable year, excluding gross income from sales of inventory or dealer property in “prohibited transactions,” discharge of indebtedness and certain hedging transactions, generally must be derived from “rents from real property,” gains from the sale of real estate assets, interest income derived from mortgage loans secured by real property (including certain types of mortgage-backed securities), dividends received from other REITs, and specified income from temporary investments. Second, at least 95% of our gross income in each taxable year, excluding gross income from prohibited transactions, discharge of indebtedness and certain hedging transactions, must be derived from some combination of income that qualifies under the 75% gross income test described above, as well as other dividends, interest, and gain from the sale or disposition of stock or securities, which need not have any relation to real property. Income and gain from certain hedging transactions will be excluded from both the numerator and the denominator for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests.

Rents from real property.    Rents we receive from a tenant will qualify as “rents from real property” for the purpose of satisfying the gross income requirements for a REIT described above only if all of the conditions described below are met.

 

 

The amount of rent is not based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person. However, an amount we receive or accrue generally will not be excluded from the term “rents from real property” solely because it is based on a fixed percentage or percentages of receipts or sales;

 

 

Neither we nor an actual or constructive owner of 10% or more of our stock actually or constructively owns 10% or more of the interests in the assets or net profits of a non-corporate tenant, or, if the tenant is a corporation, 10% or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock entitled to vote or 10% or more of the total value of all classes of stock of the tenant. Rents we receive from such a tenant that is a TRS of ours, however, will not be excluded from the definition of “rents from real property” as a result of this condition if at least 90% of the space at the property to which the rents relate is leased to third parties, and the rents paid by the TRS are substantially comparable to rents paid by our other tenants for comparable space. Whether rents paid by a TRS are substantially comparable to rents paid by other tenants is determined at the time the lease with the TRS is entered into, extended, and modified, if such modification increases the rents due under such lease. Notwithstanding the foregoing, however, if a lease with a “controlled TRS” is modified and such modification results in an increase in the rents payable by such TRS, any such increase will not qualify as “rents from real property.” For purposes of this rule, a “controlled TRS” is a TRS in which the parent REIT owns stock possessing more than 50% of the voting power or more than 50% of the total value of the outstanding stock of such TRS;

 

 

Rent attributable to personal property that is leased in connection with a lease of real property is not greater than 15% of the total rent received under the lease. If this condition is not met, then the portion of the rent attributable to personal property will not qualify as “rents from real property”; and

 

 

We generally do not operate or manage the property or furnish or render services to our tenants, subject to a 1% de minimis exception and except as provided below. We are permitted, however, to perform directly certain services that are “usually or customarily rendered” in connection with the rental of space for occupancy only and are not otherwise considered “rendered to the occupant” of the property. Examples of these permitted services include the provision of light, heat, or other utilities, trash removal and general maintenance of common areas. In addition, we are permitted to employ an independent contractor from whom we derive no revenue to provide customary services to our tenants, or a TRS, which may be wholly or partially owned by us, to provide both customary and non-customary services to our tenants without causing

 

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the rent that we receive from those tenants to fail to qualify as “rents from real property.” Any amounts that we receive from a TRS with respect to the TRS’s provision of non-customary services will, however, be nonqualifying income under the 75% gross income test and, except to the extent received through the payment of dividends, the 95% gross income test.

We intend to cause any services that are not “usually or customarily rendered,” or that are for the benefit of a particular tenant in connection with the rental of real property, to be provided through a TRS or through an “independent contractor.” However, no assurance can be given that the IRS will concur with our determination as to whether a particular service is usual or customary.

Dividend income.    We may directly or indirectly receive distributions from TRSs or other corporations that are not REITs or qualified REIT subsidiaries. These distributions generally are treated as dividend income to the extent of the earnings and profits of the distributing corporation. Such distributions will generally constitute qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not for purposes of the 75% gross income test. Any dividends that we receive from another REIT, however, will be qualifying income for purposes of both the 95% and 75% gross income tests.

Fee income.    Any fee income that we earn will generally not be qualifying income for purposes of either gross income test. Any fees earned by a TRS, however, will not be included for purposes of our gross income tests.

Interest income.    Interest income constitutes qualifying mortgage interest for purposes of the 75% gross income test (as described above) to the extent that the obligation upon which such interest is paid is secured by a mortgage on real property. If we receive interest income with respect to a mortgage loan that is secured by both real property and other property, and the highest principal amount of the loan outstanding during a taxable year exceeds the fair market value of the real property on the date that we acquired or originated the mortgage loan, the interest income will be apportioned between the real property and the other collateral, and our income from the arrangement will qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test only to the extent that the interest is allocable to the real property. Even if a loan is not secured by real property, or is undersecured, the income that it generates may nonetheless qualify for purposes of the 95% gross income test. For these purposes, the term “interest” generally does not include any amount received or accrued, directly or indirectly, if the determination of all or some of the amount depends in any way on the income or profits of any person. However, an amount received or accrued generally will not be excluded from the term “interest” solely by reason of being based on a fixed percentage or percentages of receipts or sales.

Hedging transactions.    Any income or gain that we or our pass-through subsidiaries derive from instruments that hedge certain risks, such as the risk of changes in interest rates, will be excluded from gross income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests, provided that specified requirements are met, including the requirement that the instrument is entered into during the ordinary course of our business, and the instrument is properly identified as a hedge along with the risk that it hedges within prescribed time periods. Income and gain from all other hedging transactions will not be qualifying income for either the 95% or 75% gross income test (as described below in “—Derivatives and Hedging Transactions”).

Failure to satisfy the gross income tests.    If we fail to satisfy one or both of the 75% or 95% gross income tests for any taxable year, we may still qualify as a REIT for such year if we are entitled to relief under applicable provisions of the Code. These relief provisions will be generally available if (i) our failure to meet these tests was due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect and (ii) following our identification of the failure to meet the 75% or 95% gross income test for any taxable year, we file a schedule with the IRS setting forth each item of our gross income for purposes of the 75% or 95% gross income test for such taxable year in accordance with Treasury regulations, which have not yet been issued. It is not possible to state whether we would be entitled to the benefit of these relief provisions in all circumstances. If these relief provisions are inapplicable to

 

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a particular set of circumstances, we will not qualify as a REIT. Even if these relief provisions apply, and we retain our status as a REIT, the Code imposes a tax based upon the amount by which we fail to satisfy the particular gross income test.

Asset tests

At the close of each calendar quarter, we must also satisfy five tests relating to the nature of our assets. First, at least 75% of the value of our total assets must be represented by some combination of “real estate assets,” cash, cash items, U.S. government securities, and, under some circumstances, stock or debt instruments purchased with new capital. For this purpose, real estate assets include interests in real property and stock of other corporations that qualify as REITs, some kinds of mortgage-backed securities and mortgage loans, and debt instruments (whether or not secured by real property) that are issued by a “publicly offered REIT” (i.e., a REIT that is required to file annual and periodic reports with the SEC under the Exchange Act). Assets that do not qualify for purposes of the 75% asset test are subject to the additional asset tests described below.

Second, the value of any one issuer’s securities that we own may not exceed 5% of the value of our total assets.

Third, we may not own more than 10% of any one issuer’s outstanding securities, as measured by either voting power or value. The 5% and 10% asset tests do not apply to real estate assets, securities of TRSs and qualified REIT subsidiaries, and the value prong 10% asset test does not apply to “straight debt” having specified characteristics and to certain other securities described below. Solely for purposes of the 10% asset test, the determination of our interest in the assets of a partnership or limited liability company in which we own an interest will be based on our proportionate interest in any securities issued by the partnership or limited liability company, excluding for this purpose certain securities described in the Code.

Fourth, the aggregate value of all securities of TRSs that we hold, together with other non-qualified assets (such as furniture and equipment or other tangible personal property, or non-real estate securities) may not, in the aggregate, exceed 25% (or, for 2018 and subsequent taxable years, 20%) of the value of our total assets.

Fifth, no more than 25% of the value of our total assets may be represented by “nonqualified publicly offered REIT debt instruments” (i.e., real estate assets that would cease to be real estate assets if debt instruments issued by publicly offered REITs were not included in the definition of real estate assets).

Notwithstanding the general rule, as noted above, that for purposes of the REIT income and asset tests we are treated as owning our proportionate share of the underlying assets of a subsidiary partnership, if we hold indebtedness issued by a partnership, the indebtedness will be subject to, and may cause a violation of, the asset tests unless the indebtedness is a qualifying mortgage asset or other conditions are met. Similarly, although stock of another REIT is a qualifying asset for purposes of the REIT asset tests, any non-mortgage debt that is issued by a non-publicly offered REIT may not so qualify (although such debt will not be treated as “securities” for purposes of the 10% asset value test, as explained below).

Certain securities will not cause a violation of the 10% asset value test described above. Such securities include instruments that constitute “straight debt,” which term generally excludes, among other things, securities having certain contingency features. A security does not qualify as “straight debt” where a REIT (or a controlled TRS of the REIT) owns other securities of the same issuer which do not qualify as straight debt, unless the value of those other securities constitute, in the aggregate, 1% or less of the total value of that issuer’s outstanding securities. In addition to straight debt, the Code provides that certain other securities will not violate the 10% asset value test. Such securities include (i) any loan made to an individual or an estate, (ii) certain rental agreements pursuant to which one or more payments are to be made in subsequent years (other than agreements between a REIT and certain persons related to the REIT under attribution rules), (iii) any obligation

 

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to pay rents from real property, (iv) securities issued by governmental entities that are not dependent in whole or in part on the profits of (or payments made by) a non-governmental entity, (v) any security (including debt securities) issued by another REIT and (vi) any debt instrument issued by a partnership if the partnership’s income is of a nature that it would satisfy the 75% gross income test described above under “—Income Tests.” In applying the 10% asset value test, a debt security issued by a partnership is not taken into account to the extent, if any, of the REIT’s proportionate interest in the equity and certain debt securities issued by that partnership.

No independent appraisals have been obtained to support our conclusions as to the value of our total assets or the value of any particular security or securities. Moreover, the values of some assets may not be susceptible to a precise determination, and values are subject to change in the future. Furthermore, the proper classification of an instrument as debt or equity for U.S. federal income tax purposes may be uncertain in some circumstances, which could affect the application of the REIT asset requirements. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the IRS will not contend that our interests in our subsidiaries or in the securities of other issuers will not cause a violation of the REIT asset tests.

However, certain relief provisions are available to allow REITs to satisfy the asset requirements or to maintain REIT qualification notwithstanding certain violations of the asset and other requirements. For example, if we should fail to satisfy the asset tests at the end of a calendar quarter, such a failure would not cause us to lose our REIT qualification if we (i) satisfied the asset tests at the close of the preceding calendar quarter and (ii) the discrepancy between the value of our assets and the asset requirements was not wholly or partly caused by an acquisition of non-qualifying assets, but instead arose from changes in the relative market values of our assets. If the conditions described in (ii) were not satisfied, we still could avoid disqualification by eliminating any discrepancy within 30 days after the close of the calendar quarter in which it arose or by making use of the relief provisions described above.

In the case of de minimis violations of the 10% and 5% asset tests, a REIT may maintain its qualification despite a violation of such requirements if (i) the value of the assets causing the violation does not exceed the lesser of 1% of the REIT’s total assets and $10,000,000 and (ii) the REIT either disposes of the assets causing the failure within six months after the last day of the quarter in which it identifies the failure, or otherwise satisfies the relevant tests within that time frame.

Even if we did not qualify for the foregoing relief provisions, one additional provision allows a REIT which fails one or more of the asset requirements to nevertheless maintain its REIT qualification if (i) the REIT provides the IRS with a description of each asset causing the failure, (ii) the failure is due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, (iii) the REIT pays a tax equal to the greater of (a) $50,000 per failure and (b) the product of the net income generated by the assets that caused the failure multiplied by the highest applicable corporate tax rate and (iv) the REIT either disposes of the assets causing the failure within six months after the last day of the quarter in which it identifies the failure, or otherwise satisfies the relevant asset tests within that time frame.

Annual distribution requirements

To maintain our qualification as a REIT, we are required to distribute dividends, other than capital gain dividends, to our stockholders in an amount at least equal to:

 

(i)   the sum of

 

  (a)   90% of our REIT taxable income, computed without regard to our net capital gains and the deduction for dividends paid; and

 

  (b)   90% of our after-tax net income, if any, from foreclosure property (as described below); minus

 

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(ii)   the excess of the sum of specified items of non-cash income over 5% of our REIT taxable income, computed without regard to our net capital gains and the deduction for dividends paid.

We generally must make these distributions in the taxable year to which they relate, or in the following taxable year if declared before we timely file our tax return for the year and if paid with or before the first regular dividend payment after such declaration. These distributions will be treated as received by our stockholders in the year in which paid. If we cease to be a “publicly offered REIT,” then in order for distributions to be counted as satisfying the annual distribution requirements for REITs, and to provide us with a REIT-level tax deduction, the distributions must not be “preferential dividends.” A dividend is not a preferential dividend if the distribution is (i) pro rata among all outstanding shares of stock within a particular class and (ii) in accordance with any preferences among different classes of stock as set forth in our organizational documents.

To the extent that we distribute at least 90%, but less than 100%, of our REIT taxable income, as adjusted, we will be subject to tax at ordinary corporate tax rates on the retained portion. We may elect to retain, rather than distribute, some or all of our net long-term capital gains and pay tax on such gains. In this case, we could elect for our stockholders to include their proportionate shares of such undistributed long-term capital gains in income, and to receive a corresponding credit for their share of the tax that we paid. Our stockholders would then increase the adjusted basis of their stock by the difference between (i) the amounts of capital gain dividends that we designated and that they include in their taxable income, minus (ii) the tax that we paid on their behalf with respect to that income.

To the extent that in the future we may have available net operating losses carried forward from prior tax years, such losses may reduce the amount of distributions that we must make in order to comply with the REIT distribution requirements. Such losses, however, will generally not affect the tax treatment to our stockholders of any distributions that are actually made. See “—Taxation of Stockholders—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders—Distributions.”

If we fail to distribute during each calendar year at least the sum of (i) 85% of our REIT ordinary income for such year, (ii) 95% of our REIT capital gain net income for such year and (iii) any undistributed net taxable income from prior periods, we will be subject to a non-deductible 4% excise tax on the excess of such required distribution over the sum of (a) the amounts actually distributed, plus (b) the amounts of income we retained and on which we have paid corporate income tax.

We expect that our REIT taxable income will be less than our cash flow because of depreciation and other non-cash charges included in computing REIT taxable income. Accordingly, we anticipate that we generally will have sufficient cash or liquid assets to enable us to satisfy the distribution requirements described above. However, from time to time, we may not have sufficient cash or other liquid assets to meet these distribution requirements due to timing differences between the actual receipt of income and actual payment of deductible expenses, and the inclusion of income and deduction of expenses in determining our taxable income. In addition, we may decide to retain our cash, rather than distribute it, in order to repay debt, acquire assets, or for other reasons. If these timing differences occur, we may borrow funds to pay dividends or pay dividends through the distribution of other property (including shares of our stock) in order to meet the distribution requirements, while preserving our cash.

If our taxable income for a particular year is subsequently determined to have been understated, we may be able to rectify a resultant failure to meet the distribution requirements for a year by paying “deficiency dividends” to stockholders in a later year, which may be included in our deduction for dividends paid for the earlier year. In this case, we may be able to avoid losing REIT qualification or being taxed on amounts distributed as deficiency dividends, subject to the 4% excise tax described above. We will be required to pay interest to the IRS based on the amount of any deduction taken for deficiency dividends.

 

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For purposes of the 90% distribution requirement and excise tax described above, any dividend that we declare in October, November or December of any year and that is payable to a stockholder of record on a specified date in any such month will be treated as both paid by us and received by the stockholder on December 31 of such year, provided that we actually pay the dividend before the end of January of the following calendar year.

Penalty tax

Any redetermined rents, redetermined deductions, excess interest, or redetermined TRS service income that we or our TRSs generate will be subject to a 100% penalty tax. In general, redetermined rents are rents from real property that are overstated as a result of any services furnished to any of our tenants by a TRS, redetermined deductions and excess interest represent any amounts that are deducted by a TRS for amounts paid to us that are in excess of the amounts that would have been deducted based on arm’s length negotiations, and redetermined TRS service income is income of a TRS attributable to services provided to, or on behalf of, us (other than services furnished or rendered to a customer of ours) to the extent such income is lower than the income the TRS would have earned based on arm’s length negotiations. Rents that we receive will not constitute redetermined rents if they qualify for certain safe harbor provisions contained in the Code.

From time to time, our TRS may provide services to our tenants. We set the fees paid to our TRSs for such services at arm’s length rates, although the fees paid may not satisfy the safe-harbor provisions described above. These determinations are inherently factual, and the IRS has broad discretion to assert that amounts paid between related parties should be reallocated to clearly reflect their respective incomes. If the IRS successfully made such an assertion, we would be required to pay a 100% penalty tax on the excess of an arm’s length fee for tenant services over the amount actually paid.

Prohibited transactions

Net income that we derive from a prohibited transaction is subject to a 100% tax. The term “prohibited transaction” generally includes a sale or other disposition of property (other than foreclosure property, as discussed below) that is held as inventory or primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business. We intend to conduct our operations so that no asset that we own (or are treated as owning) will be treated as, or as having been, held as inventory or for sale to customers, and that a sale of any such asset will not be treated as having been in the ordinary course of our business. Whether property is held as inventory or “primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business” depends on the particular facts and circumstances. No assurance can be given that any property that we sell will not be treated as inventory or property held for sale to customers, or that we can comply with certain safe-harbor provisions of the Code that would prevent such treatment. The 100% tax does not apply to gains from the sale of property that is held through a TRS or other taxable corporation, although such income will be subject to tax in the hands of the corporation at regular corporate rates. We intend to structure our activities to avoid prohibited transaction characterization.

Like-kind exchanges

We may dispose of properties in transactions intended to qualify as like-kind exchanges under the Code. Such like-kind exchanges are intended to result in the deferral of gain for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The failure of any such transaction to qualify as a like-kind exchange could require us to pay federal income tax, possibly including the 100% prohibited transaction tax, depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the particular transaction.

 

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Derivatives and hedging transactions

We and our subsidiaries may enter into hedging transactions with respect to interest rate exposure on one or more assets or liabilities. Any such hedging transactions could take a variety of forms, including the use of derivative instruments such as interest rate swap contracts, interest rate cap or floor contracts, futures or forward contracts, and options. Except to the extent provided by Treasury regulations, any income from a hedging transaction (including gain from the sale, disposition or termination of a position in such a transaction) will not constitute gross income for purposes of the 75% or 95% gross income test if we properly identify the transaction as specified in applicable Treasury regulations and we enter into such transaction (i) in the normal course of our business primarily to manage risk of interest rate changes or currency fluctuations with respect to borrowings made or to be made, or ordinary obligations incurred or to be incurred, to acquire or carry real estate assets, (ii) primarily to manage risk of currency fluctuations with respect to any item of income or gain that would be qualifying income under the 75% or 95% income tests, or (iii) in connection with the extinguishment of indebtedness with respect to which we have entered into a qualified hedging position described in clause (i) or the disposition of property with respect to which we have entered into a qualified hedging position described in clause (ii), primarily to manage the risks of such hedging positions. To the extent that we hedge in certain other situations, the resultant income may be treated as income that does not qualify under the 75% or 95% gross income tests. Moreover, to the extent that a position in a hedging transaction has positive value at any particular point in time, it may be treated as an asset that does not qualify for purposes of the REIT asset tests. We intend to structure any hedging transactions in a manner that does not jeopardize our status as a REIT. We may conduct some or all of our hedging activities through a TRS or other corporate entity, the income from which may be subject to U.S. federal income tax, rather than by participating in the arrangements directly or through pass-through subsidiaries. No assurance can be given, however, that our hedging activities will not give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of the REIT gross income tests, or that our hedging activities will not adversely affect our ability to satisfy the REIT qualification requirements.

Foreclosure property

Foreclosure property is real property and any personal property incident to such real property (i) that we acquire as the result of having bid in the property at foreclosure, or having otherwise reduced the property to ownership or possession by agreement or process of law, after a default (or upon imminent default) on a lease of the property or a mortgage loan held by us and secured by the property, (ii) for which we acquired the related loan or lease at a time when default was not imminent or anticipated and (iii) with respect to which we made a proper election to treat the property as foreclosure property. We generally will be subject to tax at the maximum corporate rate on any net income from foreclosure property, including any gain from the disposition of the foreclosure property, other than income that would otherwise be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. Any gain from the sale of property for which a foreclosure property election has been made will not be subject to the 100% tax on gains from prohibited transactions described above, even if the property would otherwise constitute inventory or dealer property. We do not anticipate receiving any income from foreclosure property that does not qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test.

Failure to qualify

If we fail to satisfy one or more requirements for REIT qualification other than the income or asset tests, we could avoid disqualification as a REIT if our failure is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect and we pay a penalty of $50,000 for each such failure. Relief provisions are also available for failures of the income tests and asset tests, as described above in “—Income Tests” and “—Asset Tests.”

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regular corporate rates. We cannot deduct distributions to stockholders in any year in which we are not a REIT, nor would we be required to make distributions in such a year. In this situation, to the extent of current and accumulated earnings and profits, distributions to stockholders would be taxable as regular corporate dividends. Such dividends paid to U.S. stockholders that are individuals, trusts and estates may be taxable at the preferential income tax rates for qualified dividends. In addition, subject to the limitations of the Code, corporate distributees may be eligible for the dividends received deduction. Unless we are entitled to relief under specific statutory provisions, we would also be disqualified from re-electing to be taxed as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year during which we lost our qualification. It is not possible to state whether, in all circumstances, we would be entitled to this statutory relief.

Taxation of stockholders

Taxation of taxable U.S. stockholders

The following is a summary of certain U.S. federal income tax consequences of the ownership and disposition of our stock applicable to taxable U.S. stockholders. A “U.S. stockholder” is any holder of our common stock that is, for U.S. federal income tax purposes:

 

 

an individual who is a citizen or resident of the United States;

 

 

a corporation (or entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes) created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States, or of any state thereof, or the District of Columbia;

 

 

an estate, the income of which is includable in gross income for U.S. federal income tax purposes regardless of its source; or

 

 

a trust if a U.S. court is able to exercise primary supervision over the administration of such trust and one or more U.S. fiduciaries have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust.

If a partnership, including for this purpose any entity or arrangement that is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, holds our common stock, the tax treatment of a partner in the partnership will generally depend upon the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. An investor that is a partnership and the partners in such partnership should consult their tax advisors about the U.S. federal income tax consequences of the acquisition, ownership and disposition of our common stock.

Distributions. So long as we qualify as a REIT, the distributions that we make to our taxable U.S. stockholders out of current or accumulated earnings and profits that we do not designate as capital gain dividends will generally be taken into account by such stockholders as ordinary income and will not be eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporations. With limited exceptions, our dividends are not eligible for taxation at the preferential income tax rates for qualified dividends received by most U.S. stockholders that are individuals, trusts and estates from taxable C corporations. Such stockholders, however, are taxed at the preferential rates on dividends designated by and received from REITs to the extent that the dividends are attributable to:

 

 

income retained by the REIT in the prior taxable year on which the REIT was subject to corporate level income tax (less the amount of tax);

 

 

dividends received by the REIT from TRSs or other taxable C corporations; or

 

 

income in the prior taxable year from the sales of “built-in gain” property acquired by the REIT from C corporations in carryover basis transactions (less the amount of corporate tax on such income).

 

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Distributions that we designate as capital gain dividends will generally be taxed to our U.S. stockholders as long-term capital gains, to the extent that such distributions do not exceed our actual net capital gain for the taxable year, without regard to the period for which the stockholder that receives such distribution has held its stock. We may elect to retain and pay taxes on some or all of our net long-term capital gains, in which case we may elect to apply provisions of the Code, which treat our U.S. stockholders as having received, solely for tax purposes, our undistributed capital gains, and the stockholders as receiving a corresponding credit for taxes that we paid on such undistributed capital gains. See “Taxation of The GEO Group, Inc.—Annual Distribution Requirements.” Corporate stockholders may be required to treat up to 20% of some capital gain dividends as ordinary income. Long-term capital gains are generally taxable at reduced maximum U.S. federal rates in the case of U.S. stockholders that are individuals, trusts and estates, and ordinary income rates in the case of U.S. stockholders that are corporations. Capital gains attributable to the sale of depreciable real property held for more than 12 months are subject to a 25% maximum U.S. federal income tax rate for taxpayers who are taxed as individuals, to the extent of previously claimed depreciation deductions.

Distributions in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits will generally represent a return of capital and will not be taxable to a stockholder to the extent that the amount of such distributions does not exceed the adjusted basis of the stockholder’s shares in respect of which the distributions were made. Rather, the distribution will reduce the adjusted basis of the stockholder’s shares. To the extent that such distributions exceed the adjusted basis of a stockholder’s shares, the stockholder generally must include such distributions in income as long-term capital gain if the shares have been held for more than one year, or short-term capital gain if the shares have been held for one year or less. In addition, any dividend that we declare in October, November or December of any year and that is payable to a stockholder of record on a specified date in any such month will be treated as both paid by us and received by the stockholder on December 31 of such year, provided that we actually pay the dividend before the end of January of the following calendar year.

To the extent that we have available net operating losses and capital losses carried forward from prior tax years, such losses may reduce the amount of distributions that we must make in order to comply with the REIT distribution requirements. See “Taxation of The GEO Group, Inc.—Annual Distribution Requirements.” Such losses, however, are not passed through to stockholders and do not offset income of stockholders from other sources, nor would such losses affect the character of any distributions that we make, which are generally subject to tax in the hands of stockholders to the extent that we have current or accumulated earnings and profits.

Dispositions of our stock.    If a U.S. stockholder sells or disposes of shares of our stock, it will generally recognize gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes in an amount equal to the difference between the amount of cash and the fair market value of any property received on the sale or other disposition and the stockholder’s adjusted tax basis in the shares of stock. In general, capital gains recognized by individuals, trusts and estates upon the sale or disposition of our stock will be subject to reduced maximum U.S. federal income tax rates if the stock is held for more than one year, and will be taxed at ordinary income rates if the stock is held for one year or less. Gains recognized by stockholders that are corporations are subject to U.S. federal income tax at ordinary income rates, whether or not such gains are classified as long-term capital gains. Capital losses recognized by a stockholder upon the disposition of our stock that was held for more than one year at the time of disposition will be considered long-term capital losses, and are generally available only to offset capital gain income of the stockholder but not ordinary income (except in the case of individuals, who may also offset up to $3,000 of ordinary income each year). In addition, any loss upon a sale or exchange of shares of our stock by a stockholder who has held the shares for six months or less, after applying holding period rules, will be treated as a long-term capital loss to the extent of actual or deemed distributions that we make that are required to be treated by the stockholder as long-term capital gain.

 

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If an investor recognizes a loss upon a subsequent disposition of our stock or other securities in an amount that exceeds a prescribed threshold, it is possible that the provisions of Treasury regulations involving “reportable transactions” could apply, with a resulting requirement to separately disclose the loss-generating transaction to the IRS. These regulations, though directed towards “tax shelters,” are broadly written and apply to transactions that would not typically be considered tax shelters. The Code imposes significant penalties for failure to comply with these requirements. You should consult your tax advisor concerning any possible disclosure obligation with respect to the receipt or disposition of our stock or securities or transactions that we might undertake directly or indirectly. Moreover, you should be aware that we and other participants in the transactions in which we are involved (including their advisors) might be subject to disclosure or other requirements pursuant to these regulations.

Passive activity losses and investment interest limitations.    Distributions that we make and gains arising from the sale or exchange by a U.S. stockholder of our stock will not be treated as passive activity income. As a result, stockholders will not be able to apply any “passive losses” against income or gain relating to our stock. To the extent that distributions we make do not constitute a return of capital, they will be treated as investment income for purposes of computing the investment interest limitation.

Taxation of non-U.S. stockholders

The following is a summary of certain U.S. federal income and estate tax consequences of the ownership and disposition of our stock applicable to non-U.S. stockholders. A “non-U.S. stockholder” is any holder of our common stock other than a partnership or U.S. stockholder.

Ordinary dividends.    The portion of dividends received by non-U.S. stockholders that (i) is payable out of our earnings and profits, (ii) is not attributable to capital gains that we recognize and (iii) is not effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the non-U.S. stockholder, will be subject to U.S. withholding tax at the rate of 30%, unless reduced or eliminated by treaty.

In general, non-U.S. stockholders will not be considered to be engaged in a U.S. trade or business solely as a result of their ownership of our stock. In cases where the dividend income from a non-U.S. stockholder’s investment in our stock is, or is treated as, effectively connected with the non-U.S. stockholder’s conduct of a U.S. trade or business, the non-U.S. stockholder generally will be subject to U.S. federal income tax at graduated rates, in the same manner as U.S. stockholders are taxed with respect to such dividends. Such effectively connected income must generally be reported on a U.S. income tax return filed by or on behalf of the non-U.S. stockholder. The income may also be subject to a branch profits tax at the rate of 30% (unless reduced or eliminated by treaty) in the case of a non-U.S. stockholder that is a corporation.

Non-dividend distributions.    Unless our stock constitutes a U.S. real property interest (“USRPI”), distributions that we make which are not dividends out of our earnings and profits will not be subject to U.S. income tax. If we cannot determine at the time a distribution is made whether or not the distribution will exceed current and accumulated earnings and profits, the distribution will be subject to withholding at the rate applicable to dividends. The non-U.S. stockholder may seek a refund from the IRS of any amounts withheld if it is subsequently determined that the distribution was, in fact, in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits. If our stock constitutes a USRPI, as described below, distributions that we make in excess of the sum of (i) the stockholder’s proportionate share of our earnings and profits, plus (ii) the stockholder’s basis in its stock, will be taxed under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (“FIRPTA”), at the rate of tax, including any applicable capital gains rates, that would apply to a U.S. stockholder of the same type (e.g., an individual or a corporation, as the case may be), and the collection of the tax will be enforced by a withholding at a rate of 15% of the amount by which the distribution exceeds the stockholder’s share of our earnings and profits.

 

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Capital gain dividends.    Under FIRPTA, a distribution that we make to a non-U.S. stockholder, to the extent attributable to gains from dispositions of USRPIs that we held directly or through pass-through subsidiaries, or USRPI capital gains, will, except as described below, be considered effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business of the non-U.S. stockholder and will be subject to U.S. income tax at the rates applicable to U.S. individuals or corporations, without regard to whether we designate the distribution as a capital gain dividend. See above under “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Stockholders—Ordinary Dividends,” for a discussion of the consequences of income that is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. In addition, we will be required to withhold tax equal to 35% of the maximum amount that could have been designated as USRPI capital gains dividends. Distributions subject to FIRPTA may also be subject to a branch profits tax at the rate of 30% (unless reduced or eliminated by treaty) in the hands of a non-U.S. stockholder that is a corporation. A distribution is not attributable to USRPI capital gain if we held an interest in the underlying asset solely as a creditor. Capital gain dividends received by a non-U.S. stockholder that are attributable to dispositions of our assets other than USRPIs are not subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax, unless (i) the gain is effectively connected with the non-U.S. stockholder’s U.S. trade or business, in which case the non-U.S. stockholder would be subject to the same treatment as U.S. stockholders with respect to such gain, except that a non-U.S. stockholder that is a corporation may also be subject to a branch profits tax at the rate of 30% (unless reduced or eliminated by treaty), or (ii) the non-U.S. stockholder is a nonresident alien individual who was present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a “tax home” in the United States, in which case the non-U.S. stockholder will incur a 30% tax on his capital gains. We expect that a significant portion of our assets will be USRPIs.

A capital gain dividend that would otherwise have been treated as a USRPI capital gain will not be so treated or be subject to FIRPTA, and generally will not be treated as income that is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business, and instead will be treated in the same manner as an ordinary dividend (see “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Stockholders—Ordinary Dividends”), if (i) the capital gain dividend is received with respect to a class of stock that is regularly traded on an established securities market located in the United States and (ii) the recipient non-U.S. stockholder does not own more than 10% of that class of stock at any time during the year ending on the date on which the capital gain dividend is received. We anticipate that our common stock will be “regularly traded” on an established securities exchange.

Dispositions of our stock.    Unless our stock constitutes a USRPI, a sale of our stock by a non-U.S. stockholder generally will not be subject to U.S. taxation under FIRPTA. Subject to certain exceptions discussed below, our stock will be treated as a USRPI if 50% or more of our assets throughout a prescribed testing period consist of interests in real property located within the United States, excluding, for this purpose, interests in real property solely in a capacity as a creditor. We expect that 50% or more of our assets will consist of USRPIs.

Even if the foregoing 50% test is met, however, our stock will not constitute a USRPI if we are a “domestically controlled qualified investment entity.” A domestically controlled qualified investment entity includes a REIT, less than 50% of value of which is held, directly or indirectly, by non-U.S. stockholders at all times during a specified testing period. We believe that we will be and will remain a domestically controlled qualified investment entity, and that a sale of our stock should not be subject to taxation under FIRPTA. However, no assurance can be given that we will be or will remain a domestically controlled qualified investment entity.

In the event that we are not a domestically controlled qualified investment entity, but our stock is “regularly traded,” as defined by applicable Treasury regulations, on an established securities market, a non-U.S. stockholder’s sale of our common stock nonetheless also would not be subject to tax under FIRPTA as a sale of a USRPI, provided that the selling non-U.S. stockholder held 10% or less of our outstanding common stock at all times during a specified testing period. We expect that our common stock will be regularly traded on an established securities market.

 

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In addition, if a non-U.S.. stockholder disposes of such stock during the 30-day period preceding the ex-dividend date of any dividend payment, and such non-U.S. stockholder acquires or enters into a contract or option to acquire our stock within 61 days of the first day of such 30-day period described above, and any portion of such dividend payment would, but for the disposition, be treated as USRPI capital gain to such non-U.S. stockholder under FIRPTA, then such non-U.S. stockholder will be treated as having USRPI capital gain in an amount that, but for the disposition, would have been treated as USRPI capital gain.

If gain on the sale of our stock were subject to taxation under FIRPTA, the non-U.S. stockholder would be required to file a U.S. federal income tax return and would be subject to the same treatment as a U.S. stockholder with respect to such gain, subject to applicable alternative minimum tax and a special alternative minimum tax in the case of non-resident alien individuals. Moreover, in order to enforce the collection of the tax, the purchaser of the stock could be required to withhold 15% of the purchase price and remit such amount to the IRS.

Gain from the sale of our stock that would not otherwise be subject to FIRPTA will nonetheless be taxable in the United States to a non-U.S. stockholder in two cases: (i) if the non-U.S. stockholder’s investment in our stock is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business conducted by such non-U.S. stockholder, the non-U.S. stockholder will be subject to the same treatment as a U.S. stockholder with respect to such gain, except that a non-U.S. stockholder that is a corporation may also be subject to a branch profits tax at a rate of 30% (unless reduced or eliminated by treaty), or (ii) if the non-U.S. stockholder is a nonresident alien individual who was present in the United States for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a “tax home” in the United States, the nonresident alien individual will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual’s capital gain.

Special FIRPTA rules.    Recently enacted amendments to FIRPTA create certain exemptions from FIRPTA and otherwise modify the application of the foregoing FIRPTA rules for particular types of non-U.S. shareholders, including “qualified foreign pension funds” and their wholly owned foreign subsidiaries and certain widely held, publicly traded “qualified collective investment vehicles.” Non-U.S. shareholders are urged to consult their own tax advisors regarding the applicability of these or any other special FIRPTA rules to their particular investment in our stock.

Estate tax.    If our stock is owned or treated as owned by an individual who is not a citizen or resident (as specially defined for U.S. federal estate tax purposes) of the United States at the time of such individual’s death, the stock will be includable in the individual’s gross estate for U.S. federal estate tax purposes, unless an applicable estate tax treaty provides otherwise, and may therefore be subject to U.S. federal estate tax.

Non-U.S. stockholders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal, state, local and foreign income and other tax consequences of owning our stock.

Taxation of tax-exempt stockholders

Tax-exempt entities, including qualified employee pension and profit sharing trusts and individual retirement accounts, generally are exempt from U.S. federal income taxation. However, they may be subject to taxation on their unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”). While some investments in real estate may generate UBTI, the IRS has ruled that dividend distributions from a REIT to a tax-exempt entity do not constitute UBTI. Based on that ruling, and provided that (i) a tax-exempt stockholder has not held our stock as “debt financed property” within the meaning of the Code (i.e., where the acquisition or holding of the property is financed through a borrowing by the tax-exempt stockholder) and (ii) our stock is not otherwise used in an unrelated trade or business, distributions that we make and income from the sale of our stock generally should not give rise to UBTI to a tax-exempt stockholder.

 

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Tax-exempt stockholders that are social clubs, voluntary employee benefit associations, supplemental unemployment benefit trusts, and qualified group legal services plans exempt from U.S. federal income taxation under sections 501(c)(7), (c)(9), (c)(17) and (c)(20) of the Code are subject to different UBTI rules, which generally require such stockholders to characterize distributions that we make as UBTI.

In certain circumstances, a pension trust that owns more than 10% of our stock could be required to treat a percentage of any dividends received from us as UBTI if we are a “pension-held REIT.” We will not be a pension-held REIT unless (i) we are required to “look through” one or more of our pension trust stockholders in order to satisfy the REIT “closely-held” test and (ii) either (a) one pension trust owns more than 25% of the value of our stock or (b) one or more pension trusts, each individually holding more than 10% of the value of our stock, collectively own more than 50% of the value of our stock. Certain restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock generally should prevent a tax-exempt entity from owning more than 10% of the value of our stock and generally should prevent us from becoming a pension-held REIT.

Tax-exempt stockholders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal, state, local and foreign income and other tax consequences of owning our stock.

Other tax considerations

Legislative or other actions affecting REITs

According to publicly released statements, a top legislative priority of the new Congress and administration may be to enact significant reform of the Code, including significant changes to taxation of business entities and the deductibility of interest expense and capital investment. There is a substantial lack of clarity around the likelihood, timing and details of any such tax reform and the impact of any potential tax reform on us or an investment in our common stock. Any such changes to the tax laws or interpretations thereof, with or without retroactive application, could materially and adversely affect our investors or us. We cannot predict how changes in the tax laws might affect our investors or us. New legislation, Treasury regulations, administrative interpretations or court decisions could significantly and negatively affect our ability to qualify as a REIT or the U.S. federal income tax consequences to our investors and us of such qualification. You are urged to consult with your tax advisor with respect to the status of legislative, regulatory or administrative developments and proposals and their potential effect on an investment in our common stock.

Medicare 3.8% tax on investment income

Certain U.S. stockholders who are individuals, estates or trusts and whose income exceeds certain thresholds are required to pay a 3.8% Medicare tax on dividends and certain other investment income, including capital gains from the sale or other disposition of our common stock.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

Withholding at a rate of 30% generally will be required on dividends in respect of, and, after December 31, 2018, gross proceeds from the sale of, our common stock held by or through certain foreign financial institutions (including investment funds), unless such institution (i) enters into an agreement with the Treasury to report, on an annual basis, information with respect to shares in the institution held by certain U.S. persons and by certain non-U.S. entities that are wholly or partially owned by U.S. persons and to withhold on certain payments, or (ii) if required under an intergovernmental agreement between the U.S. and an applicable foreign country reports such information to its local tax authority, which will exchange such information with the U.S. authorities. An intergovernmental agreement between the U.S. and an applicable foreign country may modify

 

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these requirements. Accordingly, the entity through which our common stock is held will affect the determination of whether such withholding is required. Similarly, dividends in respect of, and, after December 31, 2018, gross proceeds from the sale of, our common stock held by an investor that is a non-financial non-U.S. entity which does not qualify under certain exemptions will be subject to withholding at a rate of 30%, unless such entity either (i) certifies to us that such entity does not have any “substantial United States owners” or (ii) provides certain information regarding the entity’s “substantial United States owners,” which we will in turn provide to the Secretary of the Treasury. We will not pay any additional amounts to stockholders in respect of any amounts withheld. Non-U.S. stockholders are encouraged to consult their tax advisors regarding the possible implications of the legislation on their investment in our common stock.

State, local and foreign taxes

We and our subsidiaries and stockholders may be subject to state, local or foreign taxation in various jurisdictions including those in which we or they transact business, own property or reside. Our state, local or foreign tax treatment and that of our stockholders may not conform to the U.S. federal income tax treatment discussed above. Any foreign taxes that we incur do not pass through to stockholders as a credit against their U.S. federal income tax liability. Prospective investors should consult their tax advisors regarding the application and effect of state, local and foreign income and other tax laws on an investment in our stock.

 

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Underwriting

We are offering the shares of common stock described in this prospectus through a number of underwriters. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc. are acting as representatives of the underwriters. We have entered into an underwriting agreement with the underwriters. Subject to the terms and conditions of the underwriting agreement, we have agreed to sell to the underwriters, and each underwriter has severally agreed to purchase, at the public offering price less the underwriting discounts and commissions set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, the number of shares of common stock listed next to its name in the following table:

 

Name    Number of shares  

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC

     1,800,000  

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc.

     1,200,000  

Barclays Capital Inc.

     1,080,000  

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith

                    Incorporated

     1,080,000  

Canaccord Genuity Inc.

     240,000  

HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.

     120,000  

PNC Capital Markets LLC

     120,000  

Fifth Third Securities, Inc.

     120,000  

Regions Securities LLC

     120,000  

TD Securities (USA) LLC

     120,000  
  

 

 

 

Total

     6,000,000  

 

 

The underwriters are committed to purchase all the common shares offered by us if they purchase any shares. The underwriting agreement also provides that if an underwriter defaults, the purchase commitments of non-defaulting underwriters may also be increased or the offering may be terminated.

The underwriters propose to offer the common shares directly to the public at the initial public offering price set forth on the cover page of this prospectus and to certain dealers at that price less a concession not in excess of $1.04 per share. After the initial offering of the shares to the public, the offering price and other selling terms may be changed by the underwriters. Sales of shares made outside of the United States may be made by affiliates of the underwriters.

The underwriters have an option to buy up to 900,000 additional shares of common stock from us to cover sales of shares by the underwriters which exceed the number of shares specified in the table above. The underwriters have 30 days from the date of this prospectus to exercise this option to purchase additional shares. If any shares are purchased with this option to purchase additional shares, the underwriters will purchase shares in approximately the same proportion as shown in the table above. If any additional shares of common stock are purchased, the underwriters will offer the additional shares on the same terms as those on which the shares are being offered.

The underwriting fee is equal to the public offering price per share of common stock less the amount paid by the underwriters to us per share of common stock. The underwriting fee is $1.7320 per share. The following table shows the per share and total underwriting discounts and commissions to be paid to the underwriters assuming both no exercise and full exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares.

 

      Without option to purchase
additional shares exercise
     With full option to purchase
additional shares exercise
 

Per Share

   $ 1.7320      $ 1.7320  

Total

   $ 10,392,000      $ 11,950,800  

 

 

 

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We estimate that the total expenses of this offering, including registration, filing and listing fees, printing fees and legal and accounting expenses, but excluding the underwriting discounts and commissions, will be approximately $370,000.

A prospectus in electronic format may be made available on the web sites maintained by one or more underwriters, or selling group members, if any, participating in the offering. The underwriters may agree to allocate a number of shares to underwriters and selling group members for sale to their online brokerage account holders. Internet distributions will be allocated by the representatives to underwriters and selling group members that may make Internet distributions on the same basis as other allocations.

We have agreed that we will not (i) offer, pledge, sell, contract to sell, sell any option or contract to purchase, purchase any option or contract to sell, grant any option, right or warrant to purchase, or otherwise transfer or dispose of, directly or indirectly, any shares of our common stock, or file with the Securities and Exchange Commission a registration statement under the Securities Act relating to, any shares of our common stock or securities convertible into or exchangeable or exercisable for any shares of our common stock, or publicly disclose the intention to make any offer, sale, pledge or disposition, or (ii) enter into any swap or other arrangement that transfers all or a portion of the economic consequences associated with the ownership of any shares of our common stock or any such other securities (regardless of whether any of these transactions are to be settled by the delivery of shares of our common stock or such other securities, in cash or otherwise), in each case without the prior written consent of J.P. Morgan Securities LLC for a period of 75 days after the date of this prospectus, other than the shares of our common stock to be sold hereunder and any shares of our common stock issued upon the exercise of options granted or the vesting of shares of restricted stock granted under our existing stock-based compensation plans.

Our directors and executive officers have entered into lock up agreements with the underwriters prior to the commencement of this offering pursuant to which each of these persons or entities, with limited exceptions, for a period of 75 days after the date of this prospectus, may not, without the prior written consent of J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, (1) offer, pledge, announce the intention to sell, sell, contract to sell, sell any option or contract to purchase, purchase any option or contract to sell, grant any option, right or warrant to purchase, or otherwise transfer or dispose of, directly or indirectly, any shares of our common stock or any securities convertible into or exercisable or exchangeable for our common stock (including, without limitation, common stock or such other securities which may be deemed to be beneficially owned by such directors or executive officers in accordance with the rules and regulations of the SEC and securities which may be issued upon exercise of a stock option or warrant) or (2) enter into any swap or other agreement that transfers, in whole or in part, any of the economic consequences of ownership of the common stock or such other securities, whether any such transaction described in clause (1) or (2) above is to be settled by delivery of common stock or such other securities, in cash or otherwise, or (3) make any demand for or exercise any right with respect to the registration of any shares of our common stock or any security convertible into or exercisable or exchangeable for our common stock.

We have agreed to indemnify the underwriters against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act of 1933.

Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “GEO”.

In connection with this offering, the underwriters may engage in stabilizing transactions, which involves making bids for, purchasing and selling shares of common stock in the open market for the purpose of preventing or retarding a decline in the market price of the common stock while this offering is in progress. These stabilizing transactions may include making short sales of the common stock, which involves the sale by the underwriters of a greater number of shares of common stock than they are required to purchase in this offering, and

 

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purchasing shares of common stock on the open market to cover positions created by short sales. Short sales may be “covered” shorts, which are short positions in an amount not greater than the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares referred to above, or may be “naked” shorts, which are short positions in excess of that amount. The underwriters may close out any covered short position either by exercising their option to purchase additional shares, in whole or in part, or by purchasing shares in the open market. In making this determination, the underwriters will consider, among other things, the price of shares available for purchase in the open market compared to the price at which the underwriters may purchase shares through the option to purchase additional shares. A naked short position is more likely to be created if the underwriters are concerned that there may be downward pressure on the price of the common stock in the open market that could adversely affect investors who purchase in this offering. To the extent that the underwriters create a naked short position, they will purchase shares in the open market to cover the position.

The underwriters have advised us that, pursuant to Regulation M of the Securities Act of 1933, they may also engage in other activities that stabilize, maintain or otherwise affect the price of the common stock, including the imposition of penalty bids. This means that if the representatives of the underwriters purchase common stock in the open market in stabilizing transactions or to cover short sales, the representatives can require the underwriters that sold those shares as part of this offering to repay the underwriting discount received by them.

These activities may have the effect of raising or maintaining the market price of the common stock or preventing or retarding a decline in the market price of the common stock, and, as a result, the price of the common stock may be higher than the price that otherwise might exist in the open market. If the underwriters commence these activities, they may discontinue them at any time. The underwriters may carry out these transactions on the New York Stock Exchange, in the over the counter market or otherwise.

Other than in the United States, no action has been taken by us or the underwriters that would permit a public offering of the securities offered by this prospectus in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required. The securities offered by this prospectus may not be offered or sold, directly or indirectly, nor may this prospectus or any other offering material or advertisements in connection with the offer and sale of any such securities be distributed or published in any jurisdiction, except under circumstances that will result in compliance with the applicable rules and regulations of that jurisdiction. Persons into whose possession this prospectus comes are advised to inform themselves about and to observe any restrictions relating to the offering and the distribution of this prospectus. This prospectus does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities offered by this prospectus in any jurisdiction in which such an offer or a solicitation is unlawful.

Certain of the underwriters and their affiliates have provided in the past to us and our affiliates and may provide from time to time in the future certain commercial banking, financial advisory, investment banking and other services for us and such affiliates in the ordinary course of their business, for which they have received and may continue to receive customary fees and commissions. For example, certain of the underwriters or their affiliates have provided financial advisory services or financing commitments to us in connection with our pending acquisition of CEC. In addition, from time to time, certain of the underwriters and their affiliates may effect transactions for their own account or the account of customers, and hold on behalf of themselves or their customers, long or short positions in our debt or equity securities or loans, and may do so in the future. We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay amounts outstanding under the revolver portion of our senior credit facility and for general corporate purposes. Affiliates of certain of the underwriters are lenders under our revolving credit facility and will receive a portion of the proceeds.

 

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Notice to prospective investors in the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”)

This document relates to an Exempt Offer in accordance with the Markets Rules 2012 of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”). This document is intended for distribution only to persons of a type specified in the Markets Rules 2012 of the DFSA. It must not be delivered to, or relied on by, any other person. The DFSA has no responsibility for reviewing or verifying any documents in connection with Exempt Offers. The DFSA has not approved this prospectus supplement nor taken steps to verify the information set forth herein and has no responsibility for this document. The securities to which this document relates may be illiquid and/or subject to restrictions on their resale. Prospective purchasers of the securities offered should conduct their own due diligence on the securities. If you do not understand the contents of this document you should consult an authorized financial advisor.

In relation to its use in the DIFC, this document is strictly private and confidential and is being distributed to a limited number of investors and must not be provided to any person other than the original recipient, and may not be reproduced or used for any other purpose. The interests in the securities may not be offered or sold directly or indirectly to the public in the DIFC.

Notice to prospective investors in the United Arab Emirates

The shares have not been, and are not being, publicly offered, sold, promoted or advertised in the United Arab Emirates (including the Dubai International Financial Centre) other than in compliance with the laws of the United Arab Emirates (and the Dubai International Financial Centre) governing the issue, offering and sale of securities. Further, this prospectus does not constitute a public offer of securities in the United Arab Emirates (including the Dubai International Financial Centre) and is not intended to be a public offer. This prospectus has not been approved by or filed with the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, the Securities and Commodities Authority or the Dubai Financial Services Authority.

Notice to prospective investors in Australia

This prospectus supplement:

 

 

does not constitute a product disclosure document or a prospectus under Chapter 6D.2 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the “Corporations Act”);

 

 

has not been, and will not be, lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (“ASIC”), as a disclosure document for the purposes of the Corporations Act and does not purport to include the information required of a disclosure document under Chapter 6D.2 of the Corporations Act;

 

 

does not constitute or involve a recommendation to acquire, an offer or invitation for issue or sale, an offer or invitation to arrange the issue or sale, or an issue or sale, of interests to a “retail client” (as defined in section 761G of the Corporations Act and applicable regulations) in Australia; and

 

 

may only be provided in Australia to select investors who are able to demonstrate that they fall within one or more of the categories of investors, or Exempt Investors, available under section 708 of the Corporations Act.

The shares may not be directly or indirectly offered for subscription or purchased or sold, and no invitations to subscribe for or buy the shares may be issued, and no draft or definitive offering memorandum, advertisement or other offering material relating to any shares may be distributed in Australia, except where disclosure to investors is not required under Chapter 6D of the Corporations Act or is otherwise in compliance with all applicable Australian laws and regulations. By submitting an application for the shares, you represent and warrant to us that you are an Exempt Investor.

 

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As any offer of shares under this document will be made without disclosure in Australia under Chapter 6D.2 of the Corporations Act, the offer of those securities for resale in Australia within 12 months may, under section 707 of the Corporations Act, require disclosure to investors under Chapter 6D.2 if none of the exemptions in section 708 applies to that resale. By applying for the shares you undertake to us that you will not, for a period of 12 months from the date of issue of the shares, offer, transfer, assign or otherwise alienate those securities to investors in Australia except in circumstances where disclosure to investors is not required under Chapter 6D.2 of the Corporations Act or where a compliant disclosure document is prepared and lodged with ASIC.

Notice to prospective investors in Hong Kong

The shares have not been offered or sold and will not be offered or sold in Hong Kong, by means of any document, other than (a) to “professional investors” as defined in the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571) of Hong Kong and any rules made under that Ordinance; or (b) in other circumstances which do not result in the document being a “prospectus” as defined in the Companies (Winding Up and Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance (Cap. 32) of Hong Kong or which do not constitute an offer to the public within the meaning of that Ordinance. No advertisement, invitation or document relating to the shares has been or may be issued or has been or may be in the possession of any person for the purposes of issue, whether in Hong Kong or elsewhere, which is directed at, or the contents of which are likely to be accessed or read by, the public of Hong Kong (except if permitted to do so under the securities laws of Hong Kong) other than with respect to shares which are or are intended to be disposed of only to persons outside Hong Kong or only to “professional investors” as defined in the Securities and Futures Ordinance and any rules made under that Ordinance.

Warning

The contents of this document have not been reviewed by any regulatory authority in Hong Kong. You are advised to exercise caution in relation to the offer. If you are in any doubt about any of the contents of this document, you should obtain independent professional advice.

Notice to prospective investors in Singapore

This prospectus has not been registered as a prospectus with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Accordingly, this prospectus and any other document or material in connection with the offer or sale, or invitation for subscription or purchase, of shares may not be circulated or distributed, nor may the shares be offered or sold, or be made the subject of an invitation for subscription or purchase, whether directly or indirectly, to persons in Singapore other than (i) to an institutional investor under Section 274 of the Securities and Futures Act, Chapter 289 of Singapore (the “SFA”), (ii) to a relevant person pursuant to Section 275(1), or any person pursuant to Section 275(1A), and in accordance with the conditions specified in Section 275 of the SFA, or (iii) otherwise pursuant to, and in accordance with the conditions of, any other applicable provision of the SFA.

Where the shares are subscribed or purchased under Section 275 of the SFA by a relevant person which is:

 

(a)   a corporation (which is not an accredited investor (as defined in Section 4A of the SFA)) the sole business of which is to hold investments and the entire share capital of which is owned by one or more individuals, each of whom is an accredited investor; or

 

(b)   a trust (where the trustee is not an accredited investor) whose sole purpose is to hold investments and each beneficiary of the trust is an individual who is an accredited investor,

 

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securities (as defined in Section 239(1) of the SFA) of that corporation or the beneficiaries’ rights and interest (howsoever described) in that trust shall not be transferred within six months after that corporation or that trust has acquired the shares pursuant to an offer made under Section 275 of the SFA except:

 

(a)   to an institutional investor or to a relevant person defined in Section 275(2) of the SFA, or to any person arising from an offer referred to in Section 275(1A) or Section 276(4)(i)(B) of the SFA;

 

(b)   where no consideration is or will be given for the transfer;

 

(c)   where the transfer is by operation of law;

 

(d)   as specified in Section 276(7) of the SFA; or

 

(e)   as specified in Regulation 32 of the Securities and Futures (Offers of Investments) (Shares and Debentures) Regulations 2005 of Singapore

Notice to prospective investors in Bermuda

Shares may be offered or sold in Bermuda only in compliance with the provisions of the Investment Business Act of 2003 of Bermuda which regulates the sale of securities in Bermuda. Additionally, non-Bermudian persons (including companies) may not carry on or engage in any trade or business in Bermuda unless such persons are permitted to do so under applicable Bermuda legislation.

Notice to prospective investors in Saudi Arabia

This document may not be distributed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia except to such persons as are permitted under the Offers of Securities Regulations as issued by the board of the Saudi Arabian Capital Market Authority (“CMA”) pursuant to resolution number 2-11-2004 dated 4 October 2004 as amended by resolution number 1-28-2008, as amended (the “CMA Regulations”). The CMA does not make any representation as to the accuracy or completeness of this document and expressly disclaims any liability whatsoever for any loss arising from, or incurred in reliance upon, any part of this document. Prospective purchasers of the securities offered hereby should conduct their own due diligence on the accuracy of the information relating to the securities. If you do not understand the contents of this document, you should consult an authorised financial adviser.

Notice to prospective investors in the British Virgin Islands

The shares are not being, and may not be offered to the public or to any person in the British Virgin Islands for purchase or subscription by or on behalf of the company. The shares may be offered to companies incorporated under the BVI Business Companies Act, 2004 (British Virgin Islands) (“BVI Companies”), but only where the offer will be made to, and received by, the relevant BVI Company entirely outside of the British Virgin Islands.

This prospectus has not been, and will not be, registered with the Financial Services Commission of the British Virgin Islands. No registered prospectus has been or will be prepared in respect of the shares for the purposes of the Securities and Investment Business Act, 2010 (“SIBA”) or the Public Issuers Code of the British Virgin Islands.

Notice to prospective investors in China

This prospectus supplement does not constitute a public offer of shares, whether by sale or subscription, in the People’s Republic of China (the “PRC”). The shares are not being offered or sold directly or indirectly in the PRC to or for the benefit of, legal or natural persons of the PRC.

 

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Further, no legal or natural persons of the PRC may directly or indirectly purchase any of the shares or any beneficial interest therein without obtaining all prior PRC’s governmental approvals that are required, whether statutorily or otherwise. Persons who come into possession of this document are required by the issuer and its representatives to observe these restrictions.

Notice to prospective investors in Malaysia

No prospectus or other offering material or document in connection with the offer and sale of the shares has been or will be registered with the Securities Commission of Malaysia (“Commission”) for the Commission’s approval pursuant to the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007. Accordingly, this prospectus supplement and any other document or material in connection with the offer or sale, or invitation for subscription or purchase, of the shares may not be circulated or distributed, nor may the shares be offered or sold, or be made the subject of an invitation for subscription or purchase, whether directly or indirectly, to persons in Malaysia other than (i) a closed end fund approved by the Commission; (ii) a holder of a Capital Markets Services Licence; (iii) a person who acquires the shares, as principal, if the offer is on terms that the shares may only be acquired at a consideration of not less than RM250,000 (or its equivalent in foreign currencies) for each transaction; (iv) an individual whose total net personal assets or total net joint assets with his or her spouse exceeds RM3 million (or its equivalent in foreign currencies), excluding the value of the primary residence of the individual; (v) an individual who has a gross annual income exceeding RM300,000 (or its equivalent in foreign currencies) per annum in the preceding twelve months; (vi) an individual who, jointly with his or her spouse, has a gross annual income of RM400,000 (or its equivalent in foreign currencies), per annum in the preceding twelve months; (vii) a corporation with total net assets exceeding RM10 million (or its equivalent in a foreign currencies) based on the last audited accounts; (viii) a partnership with total net assets exceeding RM10 million (or its equivalent in foreign currencies); (ix) a bank licensee or insurance licensee as defined in the Labuan Financial Services and Securities Act 2010; (x) an Islamic bank licensee or takaful licensee as defined in the Labuan Financial Services and Securities Act 2010; and (xi) any other person as may be specified by the Commission; provided that, in the each of the preceding categories (i) to (xi), the distribution of the shares is made by a holder of a Capital Markets Services Licence who carries on the business of dealing in securities. The distribution in Malaysia of this prospectus supplement is subject to Malaysian laws. This prospectus supplement does not constitute and may not be used for the purpose of public offering or an issue, offer for subscription or purchase, invitation to subscribe for or purchase any securities requiring the registration of a prospectus with the Commission under the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007.

Notice to prospective investors in Taiwan

The shares have not been and will not be registered with the Financial Supervisory Commission of Taiwan pursuant to relevant securities laws and regulations and may not be sold, issued or offered within Taiwan through a public offering or in circumstances which constitutes an offer within the meaning of the Securities and Exchange Act of Taiwan that requires a registration or approval of the Financial Supervisory Commission of Taiwan. No person or entity in Taiwan has been authorised to offer, sell, give advice regarding or otherwise intermediate the offering and sale of the shares in Taiwan.

Notice to prospective investors in South Africa

Due to restrictions under the securities laws of South Africa, the shares are not offered, and the offer shall not be transferred, sold, renounced or delivered, in South Africa or to a person with an address in South Africa, unless one or other of the following exemptions applies:

 

i   the offer, transfer, sale, renunciation or delivery is to:

 

  (a)   persons whose ordinary business is to deal in securities, as principal or agent;

 

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  (b)   the South African Public Investment Corporation;

 

  (c)   persons or entities regulated by the Reserve Bank of South Africa;

 

  (d)   authorised financial service providers under South African law;

 

  (e)   financial institutions recognised as such under South African law;

 

  (f)   a wholly-owned subsidiary of any person or entity contemplated in (c), (d) or (e), acting as agent in the capacity of an authorised portfolio manager for a pension fund or collective investment scheme (in each case duly registered as such under South African law); or

 

  (g)   any combination of the person in (a) to (f); or

 

ii   the total contemplated acquisition cost of the securities, for any single addressee acting as principal is equal to or greater than ZAR1,000,000.

No “offer to the public” (as such term is defined in the South African Companies Act, No. 71 of 2008 (as amended or re-enacted) (the “South African Companies Act”)) in South Africa is being made in connection with the issue of the shares. Accordingly, this document does not, nor is it intended to, constitute a “registered prospectus” (as that term is defined in the South African Companies Act) prepared and registered under the South African Companies Act and has not been approved by, and/or filed with, the South African Companies and Intellectual Property Commission or any other regulatory authority in South Africa. Any issue or offering of the shares in South Africa constitutes an offer of the shares in South Africa for subscription or sale in South Africa only to persons who fall within the exemption from “offers to the public” set out in section 96(1)(a) of the South African Companies Act. Accordingly, this document must not be acted on or relied on by persons in South Africa who do not fall within section 96(1)(a) of the South African Companies Act (such persons being referred to as “SA Relevant Persons”). Any investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available in South Africa only to SA Relevant Persons and will be engaged in South Africa only with SA relevant persons.

Notice to prospective investors in Canada

The shares may be sold only to purchasers purchasing, or deemed to be purchasing, as principal that are accredited investors, as defined in National Instrument 45-106 Prospectus Exemptions or subsection 73.3(1) of the Securities Act (Ontario), and are permitted clients, as defined in National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations. Any resale of the shares must be made in accordance with an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the prospectus requirements of applicable securities laws.

Securities legislation in certain provinces or territories of Canada may provide a purchaser with remedies for rescission or damages if this prospectus (including any amendment thereto) contains a misrepresentation, provided that the remedies for rescission or damages are exercised by the purchaser within the time limit prescribed by the securities legislation of the purchaser’s province or territory. The purchaser should refer to any applicable provisions of the securities legislation of the purchaser’s province or territory for particulars of these rights or consult with a legal advisor.

Pursuant to section 3A.3 (or, in the case of securities issued or guaranteed by the government of a non-Canadian jurisdiction, section 3A.4) of National Instrument 33-105 Underwriting Conflicts (NI 33-105), the underwriters are not required to comply with the disclosure requirements of NI 33-105 regarding underwriter conflicts of interest in connection with this offering.

 

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Legal matters

Certain legal matters in connection with the validity of the shares of our common stock offered hereby will be passed upon for us by Akerman LLP, Miami, Florida. Certain legal matters relating to the federal tax consequences of the offering of our common stock will be passed upon for us by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Chicago, Illinois. Certain matters will be passed upon for the underwriters by Shearman & Sterling LLP, New York, New York.

Experts

The audited financial statements and schedules and management’s assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement, have been so incorporated by reference in reliance upon the reports of Grant Thornton LLP, independent registered public accountants, upon the authority of said firm as experts in accounting and auditing.

 

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Prospectus

 

LOGO

Common Stock

Preferred Stock

Debt Securities

Guarantees of Debt Securities

Warrants

Units

We may offer common stock, preferred stock, debt securities, guarantees of debt securities, warrants and units from time to time in amounts, at prices and on terms that will be determined at the time of any such offering.

This prospectus describes the general terms of these securities and the general manner in which we will offer the securities. The specific terms of any securities we offer will be included in a supplement to this prospectus. The prospectus supplement will also describe the specific manner in which we will offer the securities. The prospectus supplements may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus. You should read this prospectus and any relevant prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus, as well as the documents incorporated or deemed to be incorporated by reference in this prospectus, carefully before you invest. This prospectus may not be used to sell securities unless accompanied by a prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus.

Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, under the symbol “GEO.” On September 11, 2014, the last reported sale price of our common stock on the NYSE was $37.14 per share. We will make application to list any shares of common stock sold pursuant to a supplement to this prospectus on the NYSE. We have not determined whether we will list any of the other securities we may offer on any exchange or over-the-counter market. If we decide to seek the listing of any securities, the supplement will disclose the exchange or market.

We may offer securities through underwriting syndicates managed or co-managed by one or more underwriters, or directly to purchasers. The prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus for an offering of securities will describe in detail the plan of distribution for that offering. For general information about the distribution of securities offered, please see “Plan of Distribution” on page 20 of this prospectus.

Investing in these securities involves risks. You should carefully consider the risks incorporated by reference under the “Risk Factors” section of this prospectus on page 7, our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and any applicable prospectus supplement.

Neither the SEC nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

The date of this prospectus is September 12, 2014.


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

     2  

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     3  

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

     5  

RISK FACTORS

     7  

RATIO OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES

     8  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     9  

DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

     10  

DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

     15  

DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

     18  

DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

     19  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     20  

LEGAL MATTERS

     22  

EXPERTS

     23  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     24  

 

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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

This prospectus is part of a Registration Statement on Form S-3 that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, utilizing an “automatic shelf” registration process as a “well-known seasoned issuer,” as defined in Rule 405 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Under this shelf registration process, we may, from time to time, sell any combination of securities described in this prospectus in one or more offerings. This prospectus provides you with a general description of the securities we may offer. Each time we sell securities, we will provide a prospectus supplement that will contain specific information about the terms of that offering and the securities being offered. The prospectus supplement may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus. You should read both this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement together with the additional information described below under the heading “Where You Can Find More Information.”

In this prospectus, unless the context otherwise requires or unless the applicable prospectus supplement otherwise indicates, all references to: (i) the “Company,” “The GEO Group, Inc.,” “GEO,” “we,” “us” and “our” mean The GEO Group, Inc., a Florida corporation, and all entities owned or controlled by The GEO Group, Inc., including our wholly-owned taxable subsidiaries; (ii) “securities” mean, collectively, shares of Common Stock, shares of Preferred Stock, Debt Securities, Guarantees of Debt Securities, Warrants and Units; (iii) “Common Stock” mean shares of common stock of the Company, par value $0.01 per share; (iv) “Preferred Stock” mean shares of preferred stock of the Company, par value $0.01 per share; (v) “Debt Securities” mean the debt securities of the Company that may be offered and sold pursuant to the registration statement to which this prospectus relates; (vi) “Guarantees of Debt Securities” mean the guarantees of debt securities that may be issued by the subsidiaries of the Company listed in the “Table of Additional Registrants”, (vii) “Warrants” mean warrants to purchase securities of the Company that may be offered and sold pursuant to the registration statement to which this prospectus relates and (viii) “Units” mean units consisting of one or more of our Common Stock, Preferred Stock, Debt Securities, Guarantees of Debt Securities or Warrants of the Company that may be offered and sold pursuant to the registration statement to which this prospectus relates.

We prepare our financial statements in U.S. dollars and prepare our financial statements, including all of the financial statements incorporated by reference in this prospectus, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, or “U.S. GAAP.” Our fiscal year ends on December 31. In this prospectus, except where otherwise indicated, references to “$” or “dollars” are to the lawful currency of the United States.

This prospectus contains summaries of certain provisions contained in some of the documents described herein. Please refer to the actual documents for complete information. All of the summaries are qualified in their entirety by the actual documents. Copies of the documents referred to herein have been filed or will be filed or incorporated by reference as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, and you may obtain copies of those documents as described below under “Where You Can Find More Information.”

We have not authorized any person to provide you with any information other than that contained in or incorporated by reference into this prospectus or any prospectus supplement or that is contained in any free writing prospectus issued by us. We take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurances as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. The distribution of this prospectus and sale of the securities in certain jurisdictions may be restricted by law. Persons in possession of this prospectus are required to inform themselves about and observe any such restrictions. We are only offering the securities in states where offers are permitted. You should assume that the information appearing in this prospectus or in any prospectus supplement is accurate as of the date on the front cover of those documents only. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since that date.

 

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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Certain statements in this prospectus constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein contain “forward-looking statements.” All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this prospectus and the applicable prospectus supplement, including, without limitation, statements regarding our future financial position, business strategy, budgets, projected costs and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are “forward-looking” statements. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “seek,” “estimate” or “continue” or the negative of such words or variations of such words and similar expressions. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, which are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements and we can give no assurance that such forward-looking statements will prove to be correct. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, or “cautionary statements,” include, but are not limited to:

 

    our ability to remain qualified for taxation as a REIT;

 

    the risk that the REIT distribution requirements could adversely affect our ability to execute our business plan or may cause us to liquidate or forgo otherwise attractive opportunities;

 

    our inexperience operating as a REIT, which may adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, cash flow, per share trading price of our common stock and ability to satisfy our debt service obligations;

 

    the level of our cash distributions to shareholders is not guaranteed and may fluctuate;

 

    the ability of our board of directors to revoke our REIT status, without shareholder approval, may cause adverse consequences to our shareholders;

 

    our ability to timely build and/or open facilities as planned, profitably manage such facilities and successfully integrate such facilities into our operations without substantial additional costs;

 

    our ability to fulfill our debt service obligations and their impact on our liquidity;

 

    the instability of foreign exchange rates, exposing us to currency risks in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa, or other countries in which we may choose to conduct our business;

 

    our ability to activate the inactive beds at our idle facilities;

 

    our ability to maintain occupancy rates at our facilities;

 

    an increase in unreimbursed labor rates;

 

    our ability to expand, diversify and grow our correctional, detention, re-entry, community-based services, youth services, monitoring services, evidence-based supervision and treatment programs and secure transportation services businesses;

 

    our ability to win management contracts for which we have submitted proposals, retain existing management contracts and meet any performance standards required by such management contracts;

 

    our ability to control operating costs associated with contract start-ups;

 

    our ability to raise new project development capital given the often short-term nature of the customers’ commitment to use newly developed facilities;

 

    our ability to estimate the government’s level of dependency on privatized correctional services;

 

    our ability to accurately project the size and growth of the United States and international privatized corrections industry and our ability to capitalize on opportunities for public-private partnerships;

 

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    our ability to successfully respond to delays encountered by states privatizing correctional services and cost savings initiatives implemented by a number of states;

 

    our ability to develop long-term earnings visibility;

 

    our ability to identify suitable acquisitions, to successfully complete and integrate such acquisitions on satisfactory terms, and to estimate and achieve synergies as a result of such acquisitions;

 

    our exposure to the impairment of goodwill and other intangible assets as a result of our acquisitions;

 

    our ability to successfully conduct our operations in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia through joint ventures or a consortium;

 

    our ability to obtain future financing on satisfactory terms or at all, including our ability to secure the funding we need to complete ongoing capital projects;

 

    our exposure to political and economic instability and other risks impacting our international operations;

 

    our exposure to risks impacting our information systems, including those that may cause an interruption, delay or failure in the provision of our services;

 

    our exposure to rising general insurance costs;

 

    our exposure to state, federal and foreign income tax law changes, including changes to the REIT rules, and our exposure as a result of federal and international examinations of our tax returns or tax positions;

 

    our exposure to claims for which we are uninsured;

 

    our exposure to rising employee and inmate medical costs;

 

    our ability to manage costs and expenses relating to ongoing litigation arising from our operations;

 

    our ability to accurately estimate, on an annual basis, loss reserves related to general liability, workers compensation and automobile liability claims;

 

    the ability of our government customers to secure budgetary appropriations to fund their payment obligations to us and to continue to operate under our existing agreements and/or renew our existing agreements;

 

    our ability to pay dividends consistent with our requirements as a REIT, and expectations as to timing and amounts;

 

    our ability to comply with government regulations and applicable contractual requirements;

 

    our ability to acquire, protect or maintain our intellectual property;

 

    the risk that future sales of shares of our common stock could adversely affect the market price of our common stock and may be dilutive; and

 

    other factors contained in this prospectus and in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, referred to in this prospectus as the Commission or the SEC, including, but not limited to, those detailed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our Current Reports on Form 8-K filed with the Commission.

We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by applicable law.

 

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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

This summary highlights information contained elsewhere in this prospectus or the documents incorporated by reference herein. It is not complete and may not contain all of the information that you should consider before investing in these securities. You should carefully read the entire prospectus, including the “Risk Factors” section, the documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus, and any prospectus supplement.

The following summary highlights selected information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus and does not contain all of the information that may be important to you. You should carefully read this entire prospectus and any prospectus supplement, including the financial statements and related notes and the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus, before making a decision to invest in the securities.

The GEO Group, Inc.

Overview

We are a real estate investment trust, or REIT, specializing in the ownership, leasing and management of correctional, detention, and re-entry facilities and the provision of community-based services and youth services in the United States, Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Canada. We own, lease and operate a broad range of correctional and detention facilities including maximum, medium and minimum security prisons, immigration detention centers, minimum security detention centers, and community based re-entry facilities. We offer counseling, education and/or treatment to inmates with alcohol and drug abuse problems at most of the domestic facilities we manage. We are also a provider of innovative compliance technologies, industry-leading monitoring services, and evidence-based supervision and treatment programs for community-based parolees, probationers and pretrial defendants. Additionally, we have an exclusive contract with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which we refer to as ICE, to provide supervision and reporting services designed to improve the participation of non-detained aliens in the immigration court system. We develop new facilities based on contract awards, using our project development expertise and experience to design, construct and finance what we believe are state-of-the-art facilities that maximize security and efficiency. We also provide secure transportation services for offender and detainee populations as contracted domestically and in the United Kingdom through our joint venture, GEO Amey PECS Ltd., which we refer to as GEOAmey.

As of June 30, 2014, our worldwide operations included the ownership and/or management of approximately 78,000 beds at 97 correctional, detention and re-entry facilities, including idle facilities and projects under development, and also included the provision of monitoring of more than 70,000 offenders in a community-based environment on behalf of approximately 900 federal, state and local correctional agencies located in all 50 states.

Corporate Information

Our business was founded in 1984 as a division of The Wackenhut Corporation, or TWC, a multinational provider of global security services. We were incorporated in 1988 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of TWC. In July 1994, we became a publicly-traded company. In 2002, TWC was acquired by Group 4 Falck A/S, which became our new parent company. In July 2003, we purchased all of our common stock owned by Group 4 Falck A/S and became an independent company. In November 2003, we changed our corporate name to “The GEO Group, Inc.” On June 27, 2014, as part of the plan to reorganize the business operations of The GEO Group, Inc. so that it could qualify as a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) for federal income tax purposes, The GEO Group, Inc. merged with and into its wholly-owned subsidiary, The GEO Group REIT, Inc., a Florida corporation, pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of Merger dated March 21, 2014 (the “Merger Agreement”), with The GEO Group REIT, Inc. surviving the merger. The merger was approved by the shareholders of The GEO Group, Inc. at a special meeting of shareholders held on May 2, 2014. At 4:10 p.m. on June 27, 2014, the effective time of the merger, The GEO Group REIT, Inc. was renamed “The GEO Group, Inc.” and succeeded to and began conducting, directly or indirectly, all of the business conducted by The GEO Group, Inc. immediately prior to the merger. We currently trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “GEO.”

 

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Our principal executive offices are located at One Park Place, Suite 700, 621 Northwest 53rd Street, Boca Raton, Florida 33487 and our telephone number is (866) 301-4GEO (4436). We also maintain a website at www.geogroup.com where general information about the Company is available. The information on our website is not part of this prospectus.

The Offering

Under this prospectus, GEO may offer and sell to the public in one or more series or issuances common stock, preferred stock, debt securities, guarantees of debt securities, warrants and units.

 

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RISK FACTORS

An investment in our securities involves risks. Before making an investment decision, you should carefully consider the risks described in our filings with the SEC referred to under the heading “Where You Can Find More Information,” including the risks discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” incorporated by reference herein from our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013, as updated by annual, quarterly and other reports and documents we file with the SEC thereafter. Additional risk factors will be included in a prospectus supplement relating to a particular series or offering of securities.

 

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RATIO OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES

The following table sets forth our ratio of earnings to fixed charges for the periods indicated:

 

     Fiscal Year Ended      Six Months Ended  
     January 3,
2010
     January 2,
2011
     January 1,
2012
     December 31,
2012
     December 31,
2013
     June 30,
2013
     June 30,
2014
 

Ratio of Earnings to Fixed Charges

     2.9x      2.4x        2.3x        1.9x        1.8x        1.9x        2.5x  

The ratio of earnings to fixed charges is calculated by dividing earnings, as defined, by fixed charges, as defined. For this purpose, “earnings” consist of income before income taxes, equity in earnings of affiliates, and discontinued operations, plus fixed charges less interest capitalized and plus the distributed income of affiliates. Amortization of capitalized interest is not significant for any of the periods presented. “Fixed Charges” consist of interest expensed and capitalized (which includes amortization of premiums, discounts and capitalized expenses related to our indebtedness), and an estimate of the interest within rental expense. We did not have any preferred stock outstanding for the periods presented, and therefore the ratios of earnings to combined fixed charges and preferred stock dividends would be the same as the ratios of earnings to fixed charges presented above.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

Unless we inform you otherwise in a prospectus supplement or a free writing prospectus, we intend to use the net proceeds from the sale of the securities under this prospectus for general corporate purposes. General corporate purposes may include any of the following:

 

    providing working capital;

 

    funding capital expenditures;

 

    paying for possible acquisitions or business expansion;

 

    debt service requirements and repaying debt;

 

    repurchases of shares of our common stock; or

 

    investing in or lending money to our subsidiaries.

When a particular series of securities is offered, the prospectus supplement relating to that offer will set forth our intended use for the proceeds we receive from the sale of those securities. Pending the application of the net proceeds, we may invest the proceeds in short-term, interest-bearing instruments or other investment-grade securities.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

The following summarizes the material terms of GEO’s common stock and undesignated preferred stock as set forth in GEO’s Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation (the “Amended Articles”) and its Amended and Restated Bylaws (the “Amended Bylaws”), which govern the rights of GEO’s common stock. The following description of GEO capital stock is summarized from GEO’s Amended Articles and Amended Bylaws which have been publicly filed with the SEC. See “Where You Can Find More Information.”

Authorized Capital

The Amended Articles authorize GEO to issue up to 155,000,000 shares of capital stock, consisting of 125,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, and 30,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share.

Common Stock

As of September 5, 2014, 73,217,483 shares of common stock were issued and outstanding. Under the Florida Business Corporation Act, shareholders generally are not personally liable for a corporation’s acts or debts.

Voting Rights. With respect to all matters upon which shareholders are entitled to vote, the holders of common stock are entitled to one vote in person or by proxy for each share of common stock outstanding in the name of such shareholders on the record of shareholders. Generally, all matters to be voted on by shareholders must be approved by a majority (or by a plurality in the case of election of directors where the number of candidates nominated for election exceeds the number of directors to be elected) of the votes entitled to be cast by all shares of common stock present in person or by proxy.

Dividends. Subject to applicable law and rights, if any, of the holders of any outstanding series of preferred stock or any class or series of stock having a preference over common stock with respect to the payment of dividends, dividends may be declared and paid on the common stock from time to time and in amounts as the board of directors may determine. We commenced declaring regular quarterly distributions beginning the first quarter of 2013. The amount, timing and frequency of dividends, however will be at the sole discretion of the board of directors based upon various factors.

Liquidation Rights. Upon the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of GEO, whether voluntary or involuntary, the holders of common stock will be entitled to share ratably in all assets available for distribution after payment in full to creditors and payment in full to holders of preferred stock then outstanding of any amount required to be paid to them. Neither the merger, consolidation or business combination of GEO with or into any other entity in which our shareholders receive capital stock and/or other securities (including debt securities) of the surviving entity (or the direct or indirect parent entity thereof), nor the sale, lease or transfer by us of any part of our business and assets, nor the reduction of our capital stock, will be deemed to be a voluntary or involuntary liquidation, dissolution or winding up.

Other Provisions. The holders of common stock have no preemptive, subscription or redemption rights and are not entitled to the benefit of any sinking fund.

GEO is not permitted to subdivide, combine, or pay or declare any stock dividend on, the outstanding shares of common stock unless all outstanding shares of common stock are subdivided or combined or the holders of common stock receive a proportionate dividend.

 

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Preferred Stock

Pursuant to the Amended Articles, the board of directors is empowered, without any approval of our shareholders, to issue shares of preferred stock in one or more series, to establish the number of shares in each series, and to fix the relative rights, preferences, powers, qualifications, limitations and restrictions of each such series. The specific matters that may be determined by the board of directors include:

 

    whether the shares of the series are redeemable, and if so, the prices at which, and the terms and conditions on which, the shares may be redeemed, including the date or dates upon or after which the shares shall be redeemable and the amount per share payable in case of redemption;

 

    whether shares of the series will be entitled to receive distributions and, if so, the distribution rate on the shares, any restriction, limitation or condition upon the payment of the distributions, whether distributions will be cumulative, and the dates on which distributions are payable;

 

    any preferential amount payable upon shares of the series in the event of voluntary or involuntary liquidation, dissolution or winding up of GEO;

 

    whether the shares of the series are convertible, or exchangeable for, shares of any other class or classes of stock or of any other series of stock, or any other securities of GEO, and if so, the terms and conditions of such conversion or exchange, including price or rates of conversion at which, and the terms and conditions on which, the shares of the series may be converted or exchanged into other securities;

 

    terms and conditions of retirement or sinking fund provisions, if any, for the purchase or redemption of shares of the series;

 

    the distinctive designation of each series and the number of shares that will constitute the series;

 

    the voting power, if any, of shares of the series; and

 

    any other relative rights, preferences or limitations.

Currently, there are no shares of preferred stock issued and outstanding.

Because the board of directors will have the power to establish the preferences and rights of each series of preferred stock, it may afford the shareholders of any series of preferred stock preferences, powers and rights senior to the rights of holders of shares of common stock which could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of GEO.

Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer

To facilitate compliance with the REIT rules in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), the Amended Articles contain standard REIT restrictions on stock ownership and stock transfers.

All certificates representing shares of capital stock, if any, will bear legends describing the ownership and transfer restrictions. Further, these ownership and transfer restrictions could delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change in control that might involve a premium price for the common stock or otherwise be in the best interest of the shareholders.

For us to qualify as a REIT under the Code, GEO stock must be beneficially owned by 100 or more persons during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months or during a proportionate part of a shorter taxable year (other than the first year for which an election to be a REIT has been made). Also, not more than 50% of the value of the outstanding shares of GEO stock may be owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer “individuals” (as defined in the Code to include certain entities such as private foundations) during the last half of a taxable year (other than the first taxable year for which an election to be a REIT has been made). To satisfy these ownership requirements and other requirements for continued qualification as a REIT and to otherwise protect us from the consequences of a concentration of ownership among GEO’s shareholders, the Amended Articles contain provisions restricting the ownership or transfer of shares of GEO stock.

 

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The relevant sections of the Amended Articles provide that, subject to the exceptions and the constructive ownership rules described below, no person (as defined in the Amended Articles) may beneficially or constructively own more than 9.8% in value of the aggregate of GEO’s outstanding shares of stock, including GEO’s common stock and preferred stock, or more than 9.8% in value or in number of shares (whichever is more restrictive) of any class or series of outstanding GEO stock. We refer to these restrictions as the “ownership limits.”

The applicable constructive ownership rules under the Code are complex and may cause stock owned actually or constructively by a group of related individuals and/or entities to be treated as owned by one individual or entity. As a result, the acquisition of less than 9.8% in value or number of shares of GEO’s outstanding stock or any class or series of GEO capital stock (including through the acquisition of an interest in an entity that owns, actually or constructively, any class or series of GEO stock) by an individual or entity could nevertheless cause that individual or entity, or another individual or entity, to own, constructively or beneficially, in excess of 9.8% in value or number of shares of GEO’s outstanding stock or any class or series of GEO capital stock.

In addition to the ownership limits, the Amended Articles prohibit any person from actually or constructively owning shares of GEO stock to the extent that such ownership would cause any of our income that would otherwise qualify as “rents from real property” for purposes of section 856(d) of the Code to fail to qualify as such.

GEO’s board of directors may, in its sole discretion, exempt a person from the ownership limits and certain other limits on ownership and transfer of GEO stock described above, and may establish a different limit on ownership for any such person. However, the board of directors may not exempt any person whose ownership of outstanding stock in violation of these limits would result in our failing to qualify as a REIT. In order to be considered by the board of directors for exemption or a different limit on ownership, a person must make such representations and undertakings as are reasonably necessary to ascertain that such person’s beneficial or constructive ownership of GEO stock will not now or in the future jeopardize our ability to qualify as a REIT under the Code and must agree that any violation or attempted violation of such representations or undertakings (or other action that is contrary to the ownership limits and certain other REIT limits on ownership and transfer of GEO stock described above) will result in the shares of stock being automatically transferred to a trust as described below. As a condition of its waiver, the board of directors may require an opinion of counsel or IRS ruling satisfactory to the board of directors with respect to our qualification as a REIT and may impose such other conditions as it deems appropriate in connection with the granting of the exemption or a different limit on ownership.

In connection with the waiver of the ownership limits or at any other time, the board of directors may from time to time increase the ownership limits for one or more persons and decrease the ownership limits for all other persons; provided that the new ownership limits may not, after giving effect to such increase and under certain assumptions stated in the Amended Articles, result in us being “closely held” within the meaning of section 856(h) of the Code (without regard to whether the ownership interests are held during the last half of a taxable year). Reduced ownership limits will not apply to any person whose percentage ownership of GEO’s total shares of stock or of the shares of a class or series of GEO stock, as applicable, is in excess of such decreased ownership limits until such time as such person’s percentage of total shares of stock or of the shares of a class or series of stock, as applicable, equals or falls below the decreased ownership limits, but any further acquisition of GEO’s shares of stock or of the shares of a class or series of GEO stock, as applicable, in excess of such percentage ownership of shares of stock or of a class or series of stock will be in violation of the ownership limits.

The Amended Articles further prohibit:

 

    any person from transferring shares of GEO stock if such transfer would result in shares of GEO stock being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons (determined without reference to any rules of attribution); and

 

    any person from beneficially or constructively owning shares of GEO stock if such ownership would result in our failing to qualify as a REIT.

 

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The foregoing provisions on transferability and ownership will not apply if the board of directors determines that it is no longer in our best interests to attempt to qualify, or to continue to qualify, as a REIT.

Any person who acquires or attempts or intends to acquire beneficial or constructive ownership of shares of GEO stock that will or may violate the foregoing restrictions on transferability and ownership will be required to give notice to us immediately (or, in the case of a proposed or attempted transaction, at least 15 days prior to such transaction) and provide us with such other information as we may request in order to determine the effect, if any, of such transfer on our qualification as a REIT.

Pursuant to the Amended Articles, if there is any purported transfer of GEO stock or other event or change of circumstances that, if effective or otherwise, would violate any of the restrictions described above, then the number of shares causing the violation (rounded up to the nearest whole share) will be automatically transferred to a trust for the exclusive benefit of a designated charitable beneficiary, except that any transfer that results in the violation of the restriction relating to GEO stock being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons will be automatically void and of no force or effect. The automatic transfer will be effective as of the close of business on the business day prior to the date of the purported transfer or other event or change of circumstances that requires the transfer to the trust. We refer below to the person that would have owned the shares if they had not been transferred to the trust as the purported transferee. Any ordinary dividend paid to the purported transferee, prior to our discovery that the shares had been automatically transferred to a trust as described above, must be repaid to the trustee upon demand. The Amended Articles also provide for adjustments to the entitlement to receive extraordinary dividends and other distributions as between the purported transferee and the trust. If the transfer to the trust as described above is not automatically effective, for any reason, to prevent violation of the applicable restriction contained in the Amended Articles, then the transfer of the excess shares will be automatically void and of no force or effect.

Shares of GEO stock transferred to the trustee are deemed to be offered for sale to us or our designee at a price per share equal to the lesser of (i) the price per share in the transaction that resulted in such transfer to the trust or, if the purported transferee did not give value for the shares in connection with the event causing the shares to be held in trust (e.g., in the case of a gift, devise or other such transaction), the market price at the time of such event and (ii) the market price on the date we accept, or our designee accepts, such offer. We have the right to accept such offer until the trustee has sold the shares of GEO stock held in the trust pursuant to the clauses discussed below. Upon a sale to us, the interest of the charitable beneficiary in the shares sold terminates and the trustee must distribute the net proceeds of the sale to the purported transferee, except that the trustee may reduce the amount payable to the purported transferee by the amount of any ordinary dividends that we paid to the purported transferee prior to our discovery that the shares had been transferred to the trust and that is owed by the purported transferee to the trustee as described above. Any net sales proceeds in excess of the amount payable to the purported transferee shall be immediately paid to the charitable beneficiary, and any ordinary dividends held by the trustee with respect to such stock will be paid to the charitable beneficiary.

If we do not buy the shares, the trustee must, as soon as reasonably practicable (and, if the shares are listed on a national securities exchange, within 20 days) after receiving notice from us of the transfer of shares to the trust, sell the shares to a person or entity who could own the shares without violating the restrictions described above. Upon such a sale, the trustee must distribute to the purported transferee an amount equal to the lesser of (i) the price paid by the purported transferee for the shares or, if the purported transferee did not give value for the shares in connection with the event causing the shares to be held in trust (e.g., in the case of a gift, devise or other such transaction), the market price of the shares on the day of the event causing the shares to be held in the trust, and (ii) the sales proceeds (net of commissions and other expenses of sale) received by the trustee for the shares. The trustee may reduce the amount payable to the purported transferee by the amount of any ordinary dividends that we paid to the purported transferee before our discovery that the shares had been transferred to the trust and that is owed by the purported transferee to the trustee as described above. Any net sales proceeds in excess of the amount payable to the purported transferee will be immediately paid to the charitable beneficiary, together with any ordinary dividends held by the trustee with respect to such stock. In addition, if prior to discovery by us that shares of common stock have been transferred to a trust, such shares of stock are sold by a purported transferee, then such shares will be deemed to have been sold on behalf of the trust and, to the extent

 

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that the purported transferee received an amount for or in respect of such shares that exceeds the amount that such purported transferee was entitled to receive as described above, such excess amount shall be paid to the trustee upon demand. The purported transferee has no rights in the shares held by the trustee.

The trustee will be indemnified by us or from the proceeds of sales of stock in the trust for its costs and expenses reasonably incurred in connection with conducting its duties and satisfying its obligations under the Amended Articles. The trustee will also be entitled to reasonable compensation for services provided as determined by agreement between the trustee and the board of directors, which compensation may be funded by us or the trust. If we pay any such indemnification or compensation, we are entitled on a first priority basis (subject to the trustee’s indemnification and compensation rights) to be reimbursed from the trust. To the extent the trust funds any such indemnification and compensation, the amounts available for payment to a purported transferee (or the charitable beneficiary) would be reduced.

The trustee will be designated by us and must be unaffiliated with us and with any purported transferee. Prior to the sale of any shares by the trust, the trustee will receive, in trust for the beneficiary, all distributions paid by us with respect to the shares, and may also exercise all voting rights with respect to the shares.

Subject to the Florida Business Corporation Act, effective as of the date that the shares have been transferred to the trust, the trustee will have the authority, at the trustee’s sole discretion:

 

    to rescind as void any vote cast by a purported transferee prior to our discovery that the shares have been transferred to the trust; and

 

    to recast the vote in accordance with the desires of the trustee acting for the benefit of the charitable beneficiary of the trust.

However, if we have already taken corporate action, then the trustee may not rescind and recast the vote.

In addition, if the board of directors determines that a proposed or purported transfer would violate the restrictions on ownership and transfer of GEO stock set forth in the Amended Articles, the board of directors may take such action as it deems advisable to refuse to give effect to or to prevent such violation, including but not limited to, causing us to repurchase shares of GEO stock, refusing to give effect to the transfer on our books or instituting proceedings to enjoin the transfer.

Within 30 days after the end of each REIT taxable year, every owner of 5% or more (or such lower percentage as required by the Code or the Treasury regulations thereunder) of the outstanding shares of any class or series of GEO stock, must, upon request, provide us written notice of the person’s name and address, the number of shares of each class and series of GEO stock that the person beneficially owns and a description of the manner in which the shares are held. Each such owner must also provide us with such additional information as we may request in order to determine the effect, if any, of such owner’s beneficial ownership on our qualification as a REIT and to ensure compliance with the ownership limits. In addition, each beneficial owner or constructive owner of GEO stock, and any person (including the shareholder of record) who is holding shares of GEO stock for a beneficial owner or constructive owner will, upon demand, be required to provide us with such information as we may request in good faith in order to determine our qualification as a REIT and to comply with the requirements of any taxing authority or governmental authority or to determine such compliance.

Transfer Agent and Registrar

The transfer agent and registrar for GEO’s common stock is Computershare, telephone number (800) 522-6645.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

We may issue debt securities under one or more indentures or supplemental indentures between us and the trustee identified in the applicable prospectus supplement. Any indenture or supplemental indenture will be subject to, and governed by, the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, as amended. The statements made in this prospectus relating to the debt securities to be issued under the indenture(s) or supplemental indenture(s) are summaries of certain anticipated provisions of the indenture(s) or supplemental indenture(s) and are not complete. We will file a copy of the supplemental indenture(s) with the SEC at or before the time of the offering of the applicable series of debt securities. You should refer to those indenture(s) or supplemental indenture(s) for the complete terms of the debt securities.

We currently have outstanding $300.0 million of 5.125% Senior Notes due 2023, $250.0 million of 5 7/8% Senior Notes due 2022, and $300.0 million of 6.625% Senior Notes due 2021.

The following description, together with the additional information we include in any applicable prospectus supplement, summarizes the material terms and provisions of the debt securities that we may offer under this prospectus. While the terms we have summarized below will generally apply to any future debt securities we may offer under this prospectus, we will describe the particular terms of any debt securities that we may offer in more detail in the applicable prospectus supplements. The terms of any debt securities we offer under a prospectus supplement may differ from the terms we describe below.

We may offer debt securities in the form of either senior debt securities or subordinated debt securities. The senior debt securities and the subordinated debt securities are together referred to in this prospectus as the “debt securities.” Unless otherwise specified in a supplement to this prospectus, any senior debt securities will be our direct, unsecured obligations and will rank equally with all of our other unsecured and unsubordinated indebtedness. Any subordinated debt securities generally will be entitled to payment only after payment of our senior debt. See “— Subordination” below.

General

The terms of each series of debt securities will be established by or pursuant to a resolution of our board of directors, or a committee thereof, and set forth or determined in the manner provided in an officers’ certificate or by a supplemental indenture. The particular terms of each series of debt securities will be described in a prospectus supplement relating to such series, including any pricing supplement.

We can issue an unlimited amount of debt securities under an indenture that may be in one or more series with the same or various maturities, at par, at a premium or at a discount. We will set forth in a prospectus supplement, including any pricing supplement, relating to any series of debt securities being offered, the following terms of the debt securities:

 

    the title;

 

    the aggregate principal amount being offered, and, if a series, the total amount authorized and the total amount outstanding;

 

    any limit on the amount that may be issued;

 

    whether or not we will issue the series of debt securities in global form and, if so, who the depositary will be and the terms and conditions, if any, upon which interests in the global security may be exchanged, in whole or in part, for the individual debt securities represented by the global security;

 

    the maturity date;

 

    the principal amount due at maturity, and whether the debt securities will be issued with any original issue discount;

 

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    whether and the extent the debt securities will be guaranteed by the guarantors, the ranking of any such guarantee, the terms of such subordination, if applicable, of any such guarantee and the form of any such guarantee;

 

    whether we will pay additional amounts on the debt securities in respect of any tax, assessment or governmental charge and, if so, whether we will have the option to redeem the debt securities instead of making this payment;

 

    the annual interest rate, which may be fixed or variable, or the method for determining the rate, the date interest will begin to accrue, the dates interest will be payable and the regular record dates for interest payment dates or the method for determining such dates;

 

    whether or not the debt securities will be secured or unsecured, and the terms of any secured debt;

 

    the terms of the subordination of any series of subordinated debt;

 

    the place where payments will be payable;

 

    if convertible, the number of debt securities or shares of any class, classes or series into which the debt securities will be convertible, the conversion price (or manner of calculation thereof), the conversion period, provisions as to whether conversion will be mandatory, at our option or at the option of the holders of the debt securities, the events requiring an adjustment of the conversion price, provisions affecting conversion in the event of redemption of the debt securities, restrictions on conversion and any other terms governing such conversion;

 

    restrictions on transfer, sale, assignment or conversion, if any;

 

    our right, if any, to defer payment of interest and the maximum length of any such deferral period;

 

    the date, if any, after which, the conditions upon which, and the price at which we may, at our option, redeem the series of debt securities pursuant to any optional or provisional redemption provisions, and any other applicable terms of those redemption provisions;

 

    any sinking fund requirements, if any;

 

    whether the indenture will restrict our ability and/or the ability of our subsidiaries to:

 

  o incur additional indebtedness;

 

  o issue additional securities;

 

  o create liens;

 

  o pay dividends and make distributions in respect of our capital stock and the capital stock of our subsidiaries;

 

  o place restrictions on our subsidiaries’ ability to pay dividends, make distributions or transfer assets;

 

  o make investments or other restricted payments;

 

  o sell or otherwise dispose of assets;

 

  o enter into sale-leaseback transactions;

 

  o engage in transactions with affiliates; or

 

  o effect a consolidation or merger;

 

    whether the indenture will require us to maintain any leverage, fixed charge or other financial ratios;

 

    the events of default of such debt securities;

 

    a discussion of any material or special United States federal income tax considerations applicable to the debt securities;

 

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    information describing any book-entry features;

 

    the procedures for any auction and remarketing, if any;

 

    the denominations in which we will issue the series of debt securities, if other than in minimum denominations of $2,000 and integral multiples of $1,000 in excess of $2,000;

 

    if other than dollars, the currency in which the series of debt securities will be denominated;

 

    the provision of annual and/or quarterly financial information to the holders of the debt securities;

 

    the remedies for holders of the debt securities;

 

    the right to make any changes to the indenture(s) or the terms of the debt securities by the Company and what approval, if any, will be required from the holders of the debt securities;

 

    the provisions for voting on any changes to the indenture(s) or the terms of the debt securities;

 

    any other specific terms, preferences, rights or limitations of, or restrictions on, the debt securities, including any events of default that are in addition to those described in this prospectus or any covenants provided with respect to the debt securities that are in addition to those described above, and any terms which may be required by us or be advisable under applicable laws or regulations or advisable in connection with the marketing of the debt securities.

We may issue debt securities that provide for an amount less than their stated principal amount to be due and payable upon declaration of acceleration of their maturity pursuant to the terms of the indenture. We will provide you with information on the federal income tax considerations and other special considerations applicable to any of these debt securities in the applicable prospectus supplement.

Governing Law

The indenture and the debt securities will be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the internal laws of the State of New York.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

This section describes the general terms of the warrants that we may offer and sell by this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement. This prospectus and any accompanying prospectus supplement will contain the material terms and conditions for each warrant. The accompanying prospectus supplement may add, update or change the terms and conditions of the warrants as described in this prospectus.

General

We may issue warrants to purchase common stock, preferred stock, debt securities, or units. Warrants may be issued independently or together with any securities and may be attached to or separate from those securities. The warrants will be issued under warrant agreements to be entered into between us and a bank or trust company, as warrant agent, all of which will be described in the prospectus supplement relating to the warrants we are offering. The warrant agent will act solely as our agent in connection with the warrants and will not have any obligation or relationship of agency or trust for or with any holders or beneficial owners of warrants. A copy of the warrant agreement and warrant will be filed with the SEC in connection with the offering of the warrants.

The prospectus supplement relating to any warrants that we may offer will contain the specific terms of the warrants. These terms may include the following:

 

    the title of the warrants;

 

    the aggregate number of warrants;

 

    the price or prices at which warrants will be issued;

 

    the currency or currency units in which the offering price, if any, and the exercise price are payable;

 

    the designation, amount and terms of the securities for which the warrants are exercisable;

 

    if applicable, the designation and terms of the other securities, if any, with which the warrants are issued, and the number of warrants issued with each other security;

 

    the date, if any, on and after which the warrants and the related securities will be separately transferable;

 

    if applicable, the minimum or maximum number of warrants that may be exercised at any one time;

 

    the date on which the right to exercise the warrants will commence and the date on which the right will expire;

 

    the price at which each security purchasable upon exercise of warrants may be purchased;

 

    any provisions for changes to or adjustments in the exercise price;

 

    a discussion of any material United States federal income tax considerations applicable to the warrants;

 

    anti-dilution provisions of the warrants, if any;

 

    redemption or call provisions, if any, applicable to the warrants;

 

    information with respect to book-entry procedures, if any; and

 

    any additional terms of the warrants, including terms, procedures and limitations relating to the exchange and exercise of the warrants.

 

 

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DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

We may issue units consisting of one or more of shares of our common stock, preferred stock, debt securities or warrants or any combination of such securities.

The prospectus supplement relating to a particular issue of units will describe the terms of such units, including the following:

 

    the terms of the units and of any of our common stock, preferred stock, debt securities or warrants comprising the units, including whether and under what circumstances the securities comprising the units may be traded separately;

 

    a description of the terms of any unit agreement governing the units;

 

    a description of the provisions for the payment, settlement, transfer or exchange of the units; and

 

    if applicable, a discussion of any material United States federal income tax considerations.

 

 

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

We may sell the securities described in this prospectus and applicable prospectus supplements from time to time in one or more transactions:

 

    directly to one or more purchasers;

 

    to or through underwriters;

 

    through agents;

 

    through dealers; or

 

    through a combination of any of the foregoing methods of sale.

The offer and sale of the securities described in this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement by us, the underwriters or the third parties described above may be effected from time to time in one or more transactions at:

 

    a fixed price or prices, which may be changed;

 

    market prices prevailing at the time of sale;

 

    prices related to such prevailing market prices; or

 

    negotiated prices.

Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “GEO.”

 

 

Direct Sales

We may sell the securities directly to one or more purchasers. In this case, no underwriters, dealers or agents would be involved. A prospectus supplement will describe the terms of any sale of securities we are offering hereunder.

Through Underwriters

If we use underwriters in the sale of securities, such underwriters will acquire the securities for their own account. The underwriters may resell the securities in one or more transactions, at a fixed price or prices, which may be changed, or at market prices prevailing at the time of sale, at prices relating to prevailing market prices or at negotiated prices. If we utilize an underwriter or underwriters in the sale of securities, we will execute an underwriting agreement with the underwriter or underwriters at the time we reach an agreement for sale. We will set forth in the prospectus supplement the names of the specific managing underwriter or underwriters, as well as any other underwriters, and the terms of the transactions, including compensation of the underwriters. This compensation may be in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions.

Unless otherwise provided in a prospectus supplement, the obligations of any underwriters to purchase securities or any series of securities will be subject to certain conditions precedent, and the underwriters will be obligated to purchase all such securities if any are purchased.

Through Agents and Dealers

We will name any agent involved in a sale of securities, as well as any commissions payable by us to such agent, in a prospectus supplement. Unless we indicate differently in the prospectus supplement, any such agent will be acting on a best efforts basis for the period of its appointment.

 

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If we utilize a dealer in the sale of the securities being offered pursuant to this prospectus, we will sell the securities to the dealer, as principal. The dealer may then resell the securities to the public at varying prices to be determined by the dealer at the time of resale. The prospectus supplement will set forth the name of the dealer and the terms of the transactions.

Delayed Delivery Contracts

If we so specify in the applicable prospectus supplement, we will authorize underwriters, dealers and agents to solicit offers by certain institutions to purchase securities pursuant to contracts providing for payment and delivery on future dates. Such contracts will be subject to only those conditions set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement.

The underwriters, dealers and agents will not be responsible for the validity or performance of the contracts. We will set forth in the prospectus supplement relating to the contracts the price to be paid for the securities, the commissions payable for solicitation of the contracts and the date in the future for delivery of the securities.

General Information

If any underwriters are involved in the offer and sale, they will be permitted to engage in transactions that maintain or otherwise affect the price of the securities. These transactions may include over-allotment transactions, purchases to cover short positions created by the underwriter in connection with the offering and the imposition of penalty bids. If an underwriter creates a short position in the securities in connection with the offering, i.e., if it sells more securities than set forth on the cover page of the applicable prospectus supplement, the underwriter may reduce that short position by purchasing the securities in the open market. In general, purchases of a security to reduce a short position could cause the price of the security to be higher than it might be in the absence of such purchases. As noted above, underwriters may also choose to impose penalty bids on other underwriters and/or selling group members. This means that if underwriters purchase securities on the open market to reduce their short position or to stabilize the price of the securities, they may reclaim the amount of the selling concession from those underwriters and/or selling group members who sold such securities as part of the offering. These activities will be described in more detail in the sections entitled “Plan of Distribution” or “Underwriting” in the applicable prospectus supplement.

Neither we nor any underwriter make any representation or prediction as to the direction or magnitude of any effect that the transactions described above may have on the price of the securities. In addition, neither we nor any underwriter make any representation that such underwriter will engage in such transactions or that such transactions, once commenced, will not be discontinued without notice.

Underwriters, dealers and agents participating in a sale of the securities may be deemed to be underwriters as defined in the Securities Act, and any discounts and commissions received by them and any profit realized by them on resale of the securities may be deemed to be underwriting discounts and commissions, under the Securities Act. We may have agreements with underwriters, dealers and agents to indemnify them against certain civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act, and to reimburse them for certain expenses.

Underwriters, agents and dealers may engage in transactions with or perform services, including various investment banking and other services, for us or our affiliates in the ordinary course of business.

Unless we indicate differently in a prospectus supplement, we will not list the securities on any securities exchange, other than shares of our common stock. The securities, except for our common stock, will be a new issue of securities with no established trading market. Any underwriters that purchase securities for public offering and sale may make a market in such securities, but such underwriters will not be obligated to do so and may discontinue any market making at any time without notice. Accordingly, there can be no assurance as to the development or liquidity of any market for the securities.

 

 

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LEGAL MATTERS

Certain matters with respect to the validity of the offered securities will be passed upon by Akerman LLP, Miami, Florida. Certain legal matters in connection with Alaska law will be passed upon for us by Hughes Gorski Seedorf Odsen & Tervooren, LLC, Anchorage, Alaska. Certain legal matters in connection with Colorado law will be passed upon for us by Burns, Figa & Will, P.C. Greenwood Village, Colorado. If the securities are being distributed in an underwritten offering, certain legal matters will be passed upon for the underwriters by counsel identified in the related prospectus supplement.

 

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EXPERTS

The audited financial statements and schedules and management’s assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting incorporated by reference in this prospectus and elsewhere in the registration statement have been so incorporated by reference in reliance upon the reports of Grant Thornton LLP, independent registered public accountants, upon the authority of said firm as experts in accounting and auditing.

 

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WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. You may read and copy such material at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. You may call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 for further information on the public reference room. You can also find our SEC filings at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

Our website is www.geogroup.com. We make available free of charge through our website our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. The information contained on, connected to or that can be accessed via our website is not incorporated by reference into or otherwise part of this prospectus.

We have filed with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-3 under the Securities Act that registers with the SEC the securities described herein. The registration statement, including the attached exhibits and schedules, contains additional relevant information about us and the securities being offered. This prospectus, which forms part of the registration statement, omits certain of the information contained in the registration statement in accordance with the rules and regulations of the SEC. Reference is hereby made to the registration statement and related exhibits for further information with respect to us and the securities offered hereby. Statements contained in this prospectus concerning the provisions of any document are not necessarily complete and, in each instance, reference is made to the copy of such document filed as an exhibit to the registration statement or otherwise filed with the SEC. Each such statement is qualified in its entirety by such reference.

The SEC allows us to provide information about our business and other important information to you by “incorporating by reference” the information we file with the SEC, which means that we can disclose the information to you by referring in this prospectus to the documents we file with the SEC. Under the SEC’s regulations, any statement contained in a document incorporated by reference in this prospectus is automatically updated and superseded by any information contained in this prospectus, or in any subsequently filed document of the types described below.

We incorporate into this prospectus by reference the following documents filed by us with the SEC, each of which should be considered an important part of this prospectus:

 

    Our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013, filed with the SEC on March 3, 2014 (including the portions of the Company’s proxy statement on Schedule 14A for the Company’s 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders filed with the SEC on March 21, 2014 that are incorporated by reference therein);

 

    Our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, filed with the SEC on May 6, 2014 and the quarter ended June 30, 2014, filed with the SEC on August 8, 2014;

 

    Our current reports on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on February 25, 2014, March 6, 2014, May 5, 2014, June 30, 2014, July 9, 2014, August 11, 2014 and September 3, 2014;

 

    the description of our common stock contained in the “Description of Capital Stock” attached as Exhibit 4.1 to the Current Report on Form 8-K12B filed with the SEC on June 30, 2014 and any subsequent amendments and reports filed to update that description; and

 

    all subsequent documents filed by us after the date of this prospectus and prior to the termination of this offering under Section 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act of 1934, other than any information furnished pursuant to Item 2.02 or Item 7.01 of Form 8-K, or as otherwise permitted by the SEC’s rules and regulations.

 

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Any statement contained in a document deemed to be incorporated by reference herein shall be deemed to be modified or superseded for purposes of this prospectus and registration statement to the extent that a statement contained herein or in any other subsequently filed document which also is deemed to be incorporated by reference herein modifies or supersedes such statement. Any such statement so modified or superseded shall not be deemed, except as so modified or superseded, to constitute a part of this prospectus and registration statement. While any securities described herein remain outstanding, we will make available at no cost, upon written or oral request, to any beneficial owner and any prospective purchaser of securities described herein, any of the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus and registration statement by writing to us at the following address or telephoning us at (866) 301-4436 or (561) 893-0101.

The GEO Group, Inc.

621 NW 53rd Street , Suite 700

Boca Raton, Florida 33487

Attention: Investor Relations

Exhibits to an incorporated document will not be provided unless the exhibit is specifically incorporated by reference into this prospectus.

 

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6,000,000 shares

 

LOGO

The GEO Group, Inc.

Common stock

Prospectus supplement

J.P. Morgan

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey

Barclays

BofA Merrill Lynch

Canaccord Genuity

HSBC

PNC Capital Markets LLC

Fifth Third Securities

Regions Securities LLC

TD Securities

 

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