Toggle SGML Header (+)


Section 1: 424B5 (FORM 424(B)(5))

Form 424(b)(5)
Table of Contents

Filed pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5)

Registration No. 333-221055

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

 

Title of Securities to be Registered  

Proposed
Maximum
Aggregate

Offering Price

 

Amount of

Registration Fee(1)

Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share

  $150,000,000   $18,675

 

 

(1) Calculated pursuant to Rule 457(r) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. This “Calculation of Registration Fee” table shall be deemed to update the “Calculation of Registration Fee” table in the Company’s Registration Statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-221055) in accordance with Rules 456(b) and 457(r) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.


Table of Contents

Prospectus Supplement

(To Prospectus Dated October 20, 2017)

$150,000,000

 

LOGO

Common Stock

 

 

This prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus relate to the offer and sale from time to time of shares of our common stock, par value $0.01 per share, having an aggregate offering price of up to $150,000,000. The shares of our common stock to which this prospectus supplement relates will be offered over a period of time and from time to time through SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, Barclays Capital Inc., BNP Paribas Securities Corp., Fifth Third Securities, Inc., HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, each of which we refer to as an agent and together as the agents.

Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, under the symbol “GEO.” On November 8, 2017, the last reported sale price of our common stock on the NYSE was $27.12 per share.

Sales of shares of our common stock, if any, under this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus 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, as amended, including sales made directly on the New York Stock Exchange or sales made to or through a market maker other than on an exchange. The agents will make all sales using commercially reasonable efforts consistent with their normal trading and sales practices, on mutually agreed terms between the agents and us.

Each agent will receive from us a commission of up to 2.0% of the gross sales price of all shares of our common stock sold through it under an equity distribution agreement. In connection with the sale of the shares of our common stock on our behalf, each agent may be deemed to be an “underwriter” within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the compensation of the agents may be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts. The net proceeds we receive from the sale of the shares of our common stock to which this prospectus supplement relates will be the gross proceeds received from such sales less the commissions and any other costs we may incur in offering the shares.

 

 

Investing in our common stock involves risks. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-9 of this prospectus supplement and page 7 of the accompanying prospectus.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission, any state securities commission, nor any other regulatory body has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this prospectus supplement and the prospectus to which it relates. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey

                                             BofA Merrill Lynch

                                                                                      Barclays

                                                                                                          BNP PARIBAS

                                                                                                                                       Fifth Third Securities

                                                                                                                                                                                    HSBC

                                                                                                                                                                                                J.P. Morgan

 

 

The date of this prospectus supplement is November 9, 2017.


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

Prospectus Supplement

  

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

     S-1  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     S-1  

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     S-1  

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE

     S-5  

SUMMARY

     S-6  

RISK FACTORS

     S-9  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     S-10  

UNITED STATES FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

     S-11  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     S-27  

LEGAL MATTERS

     S-28  

EXPERTS

     S-28  

Prospectus

  

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

     1  

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     2  

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

     6  

RISK FACTORS

     7  

RATIO OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES

     8  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     9  

DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

     10  

UNITED STATES FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

     14  

DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

     29  

DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

     32  

DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

     33  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     34  

LEGAL MATTERS

     36  

EXPERTS

     37  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     38  

We have not authorized anyone to provide any information or to make any representation other than those contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or in any free writing prospectus that we have prepared. We take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you.    

We are not making an offer of these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer is not permitted.

You should not assume that the information appearing in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus, the documents incorporated by reference herein or any free writing prospectus is accurate as of any date other than the respective dates of such documents. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since that date.

 

S-i


Table of Contents

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

This document is in two parts. The first part is this prospectus supplement, which adds, updates and changes information contained in the accompanying prospectus and the information incorporated by reference. The second part is the accompanying prospectus, which gives more general information, some of which may not apply to this offering of common stock. To the extent the information contained in this prospectus supplement differs or varies from the information contained in the accompanying prospectus or any document incorporated by reference, the information in this prospectus supplement shall control.

When used in this prospectus supplement, the terms “GEO,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to The GEO Group, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries, unless otherwise specified.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

We have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which we refer to as the SEC, a “shelf” registration statement under the Securities Act on Form S-3 that registers the distribution of the securities offered hereby. The registration statement, including the attached exhibits, contains additional relevant information about us and the securities being offered. This prospectus supplement and the accompanying 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 supplement 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.

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. In addition, reports, proxy statements and other information concerning us can be inspected at the NYSE, 20 Broad Street, New York, New York 10005, where our common stock is listed.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein contain “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). “Forward-looking” statements are any statements that are not based on historical information. Statements other than statements of historical facts included in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference herein, including, without limitation, statements regarding our future financial position and results of operations, 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. The forward-looking statements included or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are made only as of the dates of the respective documents, and we do not have any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. 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 Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”);

 

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

 

S-1


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

 

    the 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;

 

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

 

    our use of taxable REIT subsidiaries (“TRSs”) 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;

 

    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;

 

S-2


Table of Contents
    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;

 

    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;

 

S-3


Table of Contents
    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 licenses;

 

    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.

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.

 

S-4


Table of Contents

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE

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

 

    Our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, filed with the SEC on February 27, 2017 (including the portions of the Company’s proxy statement on Schedule 14A for the Company’s 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders filed with the SEC on March 17, 2017 that are incorporated by reference therein);

 

    Our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2017, filed with the SEC on May 4, 2017, the quarter ended June 30, 2017, filed with the SEC on August 7, 2017 and the quarter ended September 30, 2017, filed with the SEC on November 3, 2017;

 

    Our current reports on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on February 28, 2017, March 13, 2017, March 29, 2017, April 11, 2017, April 17, 2017, April 26, 2017 and May 3, 2017, 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;

 

    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 supplement and prior to the termination of this offering under Section 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Securities 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.

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, the accompanying 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 supplement, the accompanying 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 supplement, the accompanying 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

In addition, we make available free of charge, through the Investor Relations page on our website at http://www.geogroup.com, our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and all amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. Other than the information expressly incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, information on, or accessible through, our website is not a part of this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus or the registration statement of which this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus are a part.

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

 

S-5


Table of Contents

SUMMARY

The Company

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, and community based reentry facilities and we offer an expanded delivery of offender rehabilitation services under our ‘GEO Continuum of Care’ platform. 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.

At September 30, 2017, our worldwide operations include the management and/or ownership of approximately 96,000 beds at 140 correctional, detention and reentry facilities, including idle facilities, projects under development and recently awarded contracts, and also include the provision of community supervision services for more than 185,000 offenders and pre-trial defendants, including approximately 100,000 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;

 

    our monitoring services provide our governmental clients with innovative compliance technologies, industry-leading monitoring services, and evidence-based supervision and treatment programs for community-based parolees, probationers and pretrial defendants; including services provided under the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program, which we refer to as ISAP, to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which we refer to as ICE, for the provision of services designed to improve the participation of non-detained aliens in the immigration court system;

 

    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 domestically and internationally - our joint venture GEOAmey is responsible for providing prisoner escort and custody services in the United Kingdom, including all of Wales and England except London and the East of England; and

 

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

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 states, 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.

 



 

S-6


Table of Contents

On April 5, 2017, we completed our acquisition of Community Education Centers (“CEC”), a private provider of rehabilitative services for offenders in reentry and in-prison treatment facilities as well as management services for county, state and federal correctional and detention facilities. We acquired CEC for approximately $360 million in an all cash transaction, excluding transaction related expenses. We are currently integrating 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.

 



 

S-7


Table of Contents

The Offering

 

Common Stock Offered    Shares of common stock with an aggregate offering price of up to $150,000,000.
NYSE Symbol    GEO
Use of Proceeds    We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to repay any of our outstanding indebtedness, including reducing amounts outstanding under the revolver portion of our senior credit facility, repaying our term loan and repurchasing or redeeming any of our outstanding senior notes, to fund acquisitions, fund capital expenditures and/or for general corporate purposes. See the “Use of Proceeds” section of this prospectus supplement.
Risk Factors    Investing in our common stock involves risks. Please review the “Risk Factors” discussed on page S-9 of this prospectus supplement, on page 7 of the accompanying prospectus, in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, filed with the SEC on February 27, 2017, and the other information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus for a discussion of factors you should consider before deciding to invest in our common stock.

 



 

S-8


Table of Contents

RISK FACTORS

Investing in our common stock involves risks. Potential investors are urged to read and consider the risk factors relating to an investment in GEO incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement, including under the heading “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, filed with the SEC on February 27, 2017, as modified and updated by the risk factors set forth below, as well as other information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus. The risks and uncertainties described in these risk factors are not the only ones facing our company. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently consider immaterial may also affect our business operations. Before making an investment decision, you should carefully consider these risks as well as other information we include or incorporate by reference in this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. In addition to the risks described in the Form 10-K incorporated by reference herein, we are also subject to the following risk:

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 November 1, 2017 there were 187,500,000 shares of common stock authorized under our Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation of which 124,070,516 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. In addition, we have filed an automatic shelf registration statement on Form S-3 with the SEC allowing us to offer, from time to time, an indeterminate amount of securities, including common stock, subject to 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.

This offering 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 actual amount of dilution from this offering, or from any future offering of our equity securities, cannot be determined at this time. 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 this offering, or otherwise, or as a result of the perception or expectation that such sales could occur.

 

S-9


Table of Contents

USE OF PROCEEDS

We intend to use the proceeds from the sale of the securities under this prospectus supplement to repay any of our outstanding indebtedness, including reducing amounts outstanding under the revolver portion of our senior credit facility, repaying our term loan and repurchasing or redeeming any of our outstanding senior notes, to fund acquisitions, to fund capital expenditures and/or 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. The term loan portion of our senior credit facility bears interest at LIBOR plus 2.25% and matures on March 23, 2024. Our four outstanding series of senior notes have interest rates and maturities as follows: $250,000,000 of senior notes bears interest at 5.875% and matures on January 15, 2022, $300,000,000 of senior notes bears interest at 5.125% and matures on April 1, 2023, $250,000,000 of senior notes bears interest at 5.875% and matures on October 15, 2024, and $350,000,000 of senior notes bears interest at 6.0% and matures on April 15, 2026.

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

Certain of the agents or their affiliates are lenders under our senior credit facility. Certain of the agents or their affiliates may also from time to time be holders of our other outstanding indebtedness. To the extent we use proceeds from this offering to repay indebtedness under our senior credit facility or our other indebtedness held by the agents or their affiliates, these agents or their affiliates may receive proceeds from this offering. Please read “Plan of Distribution.”

 

S-10


Table of Contents

UNITED STATES FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

The following is a summary of the U.S. federal income tax considerations generally applicable to an investment in our common stock. For purposes of this section under the heading “United States Federal Income Tax Considerations,” references to “The GEO Group, Inc.,” “we,” “our” and “us” 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 Code, the regulations promulgated by the Treasury, rulings and other administrative pronouncements issued by the 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. The Code provisions governing the U.S. federal income tax treatment of REITs and their shareholders are highly technical and complex, and this summary is qualified in its entirety by the express language of applicable Code provisions, the Treasury regulations promulgated thereunder, and administrative and judicial interpretations thereof. Moreover, this summary 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 incentive plan;

 

    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 as 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.

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 such a manner as to qualify 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.

 

S-11


Table of Contents

The law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (“Skadden”) has acted as our special REIT tax counsel in connection with our election to be taxed as a REIT. We have received an opinion of Skadden 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 actual and proposed method of operation has enabled and will enable us to continue to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT. It must be emphasized that the opinion of Skadden 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 Skadden or by us that we will qualify as a REIT for any particular year. The opinion is expressed as of the date issued. Skadden 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 Skadden. In addition, our ability to qualify as a REIT depends in part upon the operating results, organizational structure and entity classification for U.S. federal income tax purposes of certain affiliated entities, the status of which may not have been reviewed by Skadden. 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 income that is distributed to our stockholders. This treatment substantially eliminates the “double taxation” at the corporate and stockholder levels that generally results from investment in a corporation. 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 the reduced rates and are taxed at rates applicable to ordinary income. See “—Taxation of Stockholders—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders—Distributions.”

Net operating losses (“NOLs”), 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.”

Even if 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 NOLs.

 

S-12


Table of Contents
    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 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 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.”

 

    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 that was deemed acquired by us upon our conversion from a subchapter C corporation to a REIT 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 other 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;

 

S-13


Table of Contents
  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 a REIT for the current taxable year or has made such 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 taxable 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. If we fail to satisfy these stock 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 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 the actual ownership of the 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 we wholly own, either directly or indirectly through one or more other qualified REIT subsidiaries or disregarded entities. Other entities that are wholly-owned by us (either directly or indirectly through other disregarded entities), including single member limited

 

S-14


Table of Contents

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 a 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 securities of another corporation. See “—Asset Tests” and “—Income Tests.”

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 would be 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 certain transactions involving a TRS and its parent REIT 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.

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

 

S-15


Table of Contents

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 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, or otherwise in this regard.

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.

 

S-16


Table of Contents

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.

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 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 such as land, buildings and leasehold interests in real property (and certain ancillary personal property), 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 of the 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 may not represent more than 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).

 

S-17


Table of Contents

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 a “security” 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 that 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 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 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.

The Code contains a number of relief provisions that can make it easier for 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 below. No assurance can be given that we would qualify for relief under those provisions.

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

 

S-18


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

 

  (ii) the sum of specified items of non-cash income.

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, and to give rise to a tax deduction for us, 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 the 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, and (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 NOLs 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 should fail to distribute during each calendar year (or before the end of January of the following year as described below) 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 would 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, and (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 status 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.

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 services 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 services income is income of a TRS attributable to services provided to, or on behalf of, us

 

S-19


Table of Contents

(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 TRSs 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.

Derivatives and Hedging Transactions

We may enter into hedging transactions with respect to interest rate exposure on one or more of our 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. 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

 

S-20


Table of Contents

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 gross 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.”

If we fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT in any taxable year, and the relief provisions described above do not apply, we would be subject to tax, including any applicable alternative minimum tax, on our taxable income at 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

For purposes of this discussion, 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 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

 

S-21


Table of Contents
    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).

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 NOLs 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.

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, U.S. 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.

 

S-22


Table of Contents

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 that is neither a U.S. stockholder nor a partnership (or other entity or arrangement treated as a partnership) for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Ordinary Dividends. The portion of dividends received by non-U.S. stockholders that is (i) payable out of our earnings and profits, (ii) not attributable to our capital gains and (iii) 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 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, or “USRPI” (discussed below in “—Dispositions of Our Stock,” distributions that we make that 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, as amended, or “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 may be enforced by a refundable withholding tax at a rate of 15% of the amount by which the distribution exceeds the stockholder’s share of our earnings and profits.

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, which we refer to as “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. We will be required to withhold tax equal to 35% of the maximum amount that could have been designated as a USRPI capital gains dividend. 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 a USRPI capital gains dividend 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 gains dividend 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 ordinary dividends (see “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Stockholders—Ordinary Dividends”), provided that (i) the 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 dividend is received. We anticipate that our common stock will continue to 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. Our stock will not be treated as a USRPI if less than 50% 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.

 

S-23


Table of Contents

Even if the foregoing 50% test is not met, our stock nonetheless 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 (after applying certain presumptions regarding the ownership of our stock, as described in the Code). We believe that we are 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 are 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 all times during a specified testing period. Our common stock is, and we expect that our common stock will continue to be publicly traded.

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, and 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. 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.

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. stockholders, including “qualified foreign pension funds” and their wholly owned foreign subsidiaries and certain widely held, publicly traded “qualified collective investment vehicles.” Non-U.S. stockholders are urged to consult their 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. Such entities, however, may be subject to tax 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.

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.

 

S-24


Table of Contents

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 regarding the 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

The rules dealing with U.S. federal income taxation are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the IRS and the Treasury. 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 stock. Any such changes to the U.S. federal tax laws and interpretations thereof , with or without retroactive application, could materially and adversely affect an investment in our common stock 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 will be required to pay a 3.8% Medicare tax on all or a portion of their “net investment income,” which includes dividends received from us and capital gains from the sale or other disposition of our common stock.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or “FATCA,” 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, shares of our common stock held by or through certain foreign financial institutions (including investment funds), unless such institution enters into an agreement with the Treasury to report, on an annual basis, information with respect to shares in, and accounts maintained by, the institution to the extent such shares or accounts are 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. 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, shares 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 or the applicable withholding agent will in turn provide to the Secretary of the Treasury. An intergovernmental agreement between the United States and an applicable foreign country, or future Treasury regulations or other guidance, may modify these requirements. 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

 

S-25


Table of Contents

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.

 

S-26


Table of Contents

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

We have entered into equity distribution agreements with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, Barclays Capital Inc., BNP Paribas Securities Corp., Fifth Third Securities, Inc., HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, under which we may offer and sell shares of our common stock having an aggregate offering price of up to $150,000,000 from time to time, through, at our discretion, any of the agents. Upon its acceptance of written instructions from us, the applicable agent will use its commercially reasonable efforts consistent with its sales and trading practices to solicit offers to purchase shares of our common stock, under the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the applicable equity distribution agreement. We will instruct the applicable agent as to the amount of common stock to be sold by such agent. We may instruct the applicable agent not to sell common stock if the sales cannot be effected at or above the price designated by us in any instruction. We or the applicable agent may suspend the offering of common stock upon proper notice and subject to other conditions.

The applicable agent will provide written confirmation to us no later than the opening of the trading day on the New York Stock Exchange following the trading day in which shares of our common stock are sold under the applicable equity distribution agreement. Trading day means any day on which shares of our common stock are purchased or sold on the New York Stock Exchange. Each confirmation will include the number of shares sold on the preceding day, the net proceeds to us and the compensation payable by us to the applicable agent in connection with the sales.

We will pay the agents commissions for their services in acting as agent and/or principal in the sale of common stock. The agents will be entitled to compensation of up to 2.0% of the gross sales price of all shares sold pursuant to the applicable equity distribution agreement. We have agreed to reimburse the agents for certain expenses in certain circumstances. We estimate that the total expenses for the offering, excluding compensation payable to the agents under the terms of the equity distribution agreements will be approximately $400,000.

Settlement for sales of common stock will occur on the second trading day following the date on which any sales are made, or on some other date that is agreed upon by us and the applicable agent in connection with a particular transaction, in return for payment of the net proceeds to us. There is no arrangement for funds to be received in an escrow, trust or similar arrangement.

Under the terms of the equity distribution agreements, we also may sell our common stock to one or more of our sales agents as principal for their own account at a price agreed upon at the time of sale.

We will report at least quarterly the number of shares of common stock sold through the agents under the equity distribution agreements, the net proceeds to us and the compensation paid by us to the agents in connection with the sales of common stock.

In connection with the sale of the common stock on our behalf, each agent may, and will with respect to sales effected in an “at the market offering,” be deemed to be an “underwriter” within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, and the compensation of each agent may be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts. We have agreed to indemnify the agents against specified liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act of 1933, or to contribute to payments that the agents may be required to make because of those liabilities.

The offering of shares of our common stock pursuant to any of the equity distribution agreements will terminate upon the earlier of (1) the sale pursuant to the agreements of shares of common stock having an aggregate offering price of $150,000,000 or (2) termination of the applicable equity distribution agreement. Each equity distribution agreement may be terminated by the applicable sales agent or us at any time upon three days’ notice, and by the sales agent at any time in certain circumstances, including if trading in the common stock has been suspended or limited by the SEC or the New York Stock Exchange or the occurrence of a material adverse change in our company.

If we have reason to believe that our common stock is no longer an “actively-traded security” as defined under Rule 101(c)(1) of Regulation M under the Exchange Act, we will promptly notify the agents and sales of common stock under the equity distribution agreements will be suspended until that or other exemptive provisions have been satisfied in the judgment of the agents and us.

Other Relationships

Each sales agent has provided, and may in the future provide, various investment banking, commercial banking, fiduciary and advisory services for us from time to time for which they have received, and may in the future receive, customary fees and expenses. Certain of the sales agents or their respective affiliates are lenders under our senior credit facility. Each sales agent and their respective affiliates may, from time to time, engage in other transactions with and perform services for us in the ordinary course of their business.

 

S-27


Table of Contents

In addition, in the ordinary course of their business activities, the agents and their respective affiliates may make or hold a broad array of investments and actively trade debt and equity securities (or related derivative securities) and financial instruments (including bank loans) for their own account and for the accounts of their customers. Such investments and securities activities may involve securities and/or instruments of ours or our affiliates. The agents and their respective affiliates may also make investment recommendations and/or publish or express independent research views in respect of such securities or financial instruments and may hold, or recommend to clients that they acquire, long and/or short positions in such securities and instruments.

Certain of the agents or their affiliates are lenders under our senior credit facility. Certain of the agents or their affiliates may also from time to time be holders of our other outstanding indebtedness. To the extent we use proceeds from this offering to repay indebtedness under our senior credit facility or our other indebtedness held by the agents or their affiliates, these agents or their affiliates may receive proceeds from this offering.

LEGAL MATTERS

Certain legal matters, including the validity of 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 will be passed upon for us by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Certain legal matters will be passed upon for the sale agents by Shearman & Sterling LLP.

EXPERTS

The audited financial statements, schedules, and management’s assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement 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.

 

S-28


Table of Contents

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 October 19, 2017, the last reported sale price of our common stock on the NYSE was $26.47 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 34 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 October 20, 2017.


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

     1  

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     2  

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

     6  

RISK FACTORS

     7  

RATIO OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES

     8  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     9  

DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

     10  

UNITED STATES FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

     14  

DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

     29  

DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

     32  

DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

     33  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     34  

LEGAL MATTERS

     36  

EXPERTS

     37  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     38  


Table of Contents

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.


Table of Contents

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:

 

    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 Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”);

 

    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;

 

    the 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;

 

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

 

    our use of taxable REIT subsidiaries (“TRSs”) 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;

 

2


Table of Contents
    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;

 

    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;

 

3


Table of Contents
    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;

 

    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;

 

4


Table of Contents
    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;

 

    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.

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.

 

5


Table of Contents

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 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., which we refer to as GEOAmey.

At June 30, 2017, our worldwide operations include the management and/or ownership of approximately 100,000 beds at 143 correctional, detention and reentry facilities, including idle facilities, projects under development and recently awarded contracts, and also include the provision of community supervision services for more than 185,000 offenders and pre-trial defendants, including approximately 100,000 individuals through an array of technology products including radio frequency, GPS, and alcohol monitoring devices.

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.”

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 contained on or accessible through GEO’s website is not part of this prospectus, other than the documents that GEO files with the SEC that are expressly incorporated by reference into this prospectus. See “Where You Can Find More Information.”

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.

 

6


Table of Contents

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 titled “Risk Factors” incorporated by reference herein from our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, 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.

 

7


Table of Contents

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  
     December 31,
2012
     December 31,
2013
     December 31,
2014
     December 31,
2015
     December 31,
2016
     June 30,
2016
     June 30,
2017
 

Ratio of Earnings to Fixed Charges

     1.9x        1.8x        2.5x        1.9x        2.0x        1.7x        2.0x  

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.

 

8


Table of Contents

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.

 

9


Table of Contents

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, as amended (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 217,500,000 shares of capital stock, consisting of 187,500,000 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 October 16, 2017, 124,066,767 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.

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;

 

10


Table of Contents
    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 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.

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.

 

11


Table of Contents

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 Internal Revenue Service (“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.

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

 

12


Table of Contents

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 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.

 

13


Table of Contents

Transfer Agent and Registrar

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

UNITED STATES FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

The following is a summary of the U.S. federal income tax considerations generally applicable to an investment in our common stock. Supplemental U.S. federal income tax considerations relevant to the ownership of the other securities offered by this prospectus may be provided in the prospectus supplement that relates to those securities. For purposes of this section under the heading “United States Federal Income Tax Considerations,” references to “The GEO Group, Inc.,” “we,” “our” and “us” 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 Code, the regulations promulgated by the Treasury, rulings and other administrative pronouncements issued by the 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. The Code provisions governing the U.S. federal income tax treatment of REITs and their shareholders are highly technical and complex, and this summary is qualified in its entirety by the express language of applicable Code provisions, the Treasury regulations promulgated thereunder, and administrative and judicial interpretations thereof. Moreover, this summary 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 incentive plan;

 

    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 as 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

 

14


Table of Contents

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.

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 such a manner as to qualify 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 (“Skadden”) has acted as our special REIT tax counsel in connection with our election to be taxed as a REIT. We have received an opinion of Skadden 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 actual and proposed method of operation has enabled and will enable us to continue to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT. It must be emphasized that the opinion of Skadden 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 Skadden or by us that we will qualify as a REIT for any particular year. The opinion is expressed as of the date issued. Skadden 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 Skadden. In addition, our ability to qualify as a REIT depends in part upon the operating results, organizational structure and entity classification for U.S. federal income tax purposes of certain affiliated entities, the status of which may not have been reviewed by Skadden. 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 income that is distributed to our stockholders. This treatment substantially eliminates the “double taxation” at the corporate and stockholder levels that generally results from investment in a corporation. 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 the reduced rates and are taxed at rates applicable to ordinary income. See “—Taxation of Stockholders—Taxation of Taxable U.S. Stockholders—Distributions.”

 

15


Table of Contents

Net operating losses (“NOLs”), 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.”

Even if 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 NOLs.

 

    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 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 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.”

 

    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 that was deemed acquired by us upon our conversion from a subchapter C corporation to a REIT 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.

 

16


Table of Contents

In addition, we and our subsidiaries may be subject to a variety of other 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 a REIT for the current taxable year or has made such 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 taxable 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. If we fail to satisfy these stock 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 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 the actual ownership of the 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.

 

17


Table of Contents

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 we wholly own, either directly or indirectly through one or more other qualified REIT subsidiaries or disregarded entities. Other entities that are wholly-owned by us (either directly or indirectly through other disregarded entities), 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 a 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 securities of another corporation. See “—Asset Tests” and “—Income Tests.”

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 would be 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 certain transactions involving a TRS and its parent REIT 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.

 

18


Table of Contents

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.

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 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.

 

19


Table of Contents

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, or otherwise in this regard.

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.

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 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 such as land, buildings and leasehold interests in real property (and certain ancillary personal property), 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 of the 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.

 

20


Table of Contents

Fourth, the aggregate value of all securities of TRSs that we hold may not represent more than 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 a “security” 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 that 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 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 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.

The Code contains a number of relief provisions that can make it easier for 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 below. No assurance can be given that we would qualify for relief under those provisions.

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.

 

21


Table of Contents

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

 

(ii) the sum of specified items of non-cash income.

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, and to give rise to a tax deduction for us, 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 the 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, and (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 NOLs 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 should fail to distribute during each calendar year (or before the end of January of the following year as described below) 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 would 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, and (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 status 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.

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.

 

22


Table of Contents

Penalty Tax

Any redetermined rents, redetermined deductions, excess interest or redetermined TRS services 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 services 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 TRSs 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.

Derivatives and Hedging Transactions

We may enter into hedging transactions with respect to interest rate exposure on one or more of our 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. 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.

 

23


Table of Contents

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 gross 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.”

If we fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT in any taxable year, and the relief provisions described above do not apply, we would be subject to tax, including any applicable alternative minimum tax, on our taxable income at 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

For purposes of this discussion, 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 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:

 

24


Table of Contents
    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).

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 NOLs 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.

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.

 

25


Table of Contents

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, U.S. 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 that is neither a U.S. stockholder nor a partnership (or other entity or arrangement treated as a partnership) for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Ordinary Dividends. The portion of dividends received by non-U.S. stockholders that is (i) payable out of our earnings and profits, (ii) not attributable to our capital gains and (iii) 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 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, or “USRPI” (discussed below in “—Dispositions of Our Stock,” distributions that we make that 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, as amended, or “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 may be enforced by a refundable withholding tax at a rate of 15% of the amount by which the distribution exceeds the stockholder’s share of our earnings and profits.

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, which we refer to as “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. We will be required to withhold tax equal to 35% of the maximum amount that could have been designated as a USRPI capital gains dividend. 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 a USRPI capital gains dividend 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 gains dividend 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 ordinary dividends (see “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Stockholders—Ordinary Dividends”), provided that (i) the 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 dividend is received. We anticipate that our common stock will continue to be “regularly traded” on an established securities exchange.

 

26


Table of Contents

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. Our stock will not be treated as a USRPI if less than 50% 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 not met, our stock nonetheless 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 (after applying certain presumptions regarding the ownership of our stock, as described in the Code). We believe that we are 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 are 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 all times during a specified testing period. Our common stock is, and we expect that our common stock will continue to be publicly traded.

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, and 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. 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.

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. stockholders, including “qualified foreign pension funds” and their wholly owned foreign subsidiaries and certain widely held, publicly traded “qualified collective investment vehicles.” Non-U.S. stockholders are urged to consult their 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. Such entities, however, may be subject to tax on their unrelated business taxable income (“UBTI”). While some investments in real estate may generate UBTI, the IRS has ruled that dividend distributions

 

27


Table of Contents

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.

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 regarding the 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

The rules dealing with U.S. federal income taxation are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the IRS and the Treasury. 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 stock. Any such changes to the U.S. federal tax laws and interpretations thereof , with or without retroactive application, could materially and adversely affect an investment in our common stock 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 will be required to pay a 3.8% Medicare tax on all or a portion of their “net investment income,” which includes dividends received from us and capital gains from the sale or other disposition of our common stock.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or “FATCA,” 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, shares of our common stock held by or through certain foreign financial institutions (including investment funds), unless such institution enters into an agreement with the Treasury to report, on an annual basis, information with respect to shares in, and accounts maintained by, the institution to the extent such shares or accounts are 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. 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, shares 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 or the applicable withholding agent will in turn provide to the Secretary of the Treasury. An intergovernmental agreement between the United States and an applicable foreign country, or future Treasury regulations or other guidance, may modify these requirements. 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.

 

28


Table of Contents

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.

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 $350.0 million of 6.00% Senior Notes due 2026, $250.0 million of 5.875% Senior Notes due 2024, $300.0 million of 5.125% Senior Notes due 2023, and $250.0 million of 5.875% Senior Notes due 2022.

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;

 

29


Table of Contents
    the maturity date;

 

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

 

    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:

 

    incur additional indebtedness;

 

    issue additional securities;

 

    create liens;

 

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

 

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

 

    make investments or other restricted payments;

 

    sell or otherwise dispose of assets;

 

    enter into sale-leaseback transactions;

 

    engage in transactions with affiliates; or

 

    effect a consolidation or merger;

 

30


Table of Contents
    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 supplemental U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to the debt securities;

 

    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 any supplemental U.S. 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.

 

31


Table of Contents

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, guarantees of 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 supplemental U.S. 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.

 

32


Table of Contents

DESCRIPTION OF UNITS

We may issue units consisting of one or more of shares of our common stock, preferred stock, debt securities, guarantees of 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, guarantees of 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 supplemental U.S. federal income tax considerations.

 

33


Table of Contents

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.

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.

 

34


Table of Contents

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.

 

35


Table of Contents

LEGAL MATTERS

Certain matters with respect to the validity of the offered securities will be passed upon by Akerman LLP, Miami, Florida. Certain legal and tax matters as described under “U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations” will be passed upon by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Chicago, Illinois. Certain legal matters in connection with Alaska law will be passed upon for us by Hughes White Colbo Wilcox & 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. Certain legal matters in connection with Massachusetts law will be passed upon for us by Foley Hoag LLP, Boston, Massachusetts. Certain legal matters in connection with New Jersey law will be passed upon for us by Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP, Woodbridge, New Jersey. Certain legal matters in connection with Pennsylvania law will be passed upon for us by Reed Smith LLP, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Certain legal matters in connection with Texas law will be passed upon for us by Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, San Antonio, Texas. Certain legal matters in connection with Wyoming law will be passed upon for us by Halloran Farkas + Kittila LLP, Jackson, Wyoming. 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.

 

36


Table of Contents

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.

 

37


Table of Contents

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, 2016, filed with the SEC on February 27, 2017 (including the portions of the Company’s proxy statement on Schedule 14A for the Company’s 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders filed with the SEC on March 17, 2017 that are incorporated by reference therein);

 

    Our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2017, filed with the SEC on May 4, 2017 and the quarter ended June 30, 2017, filed with the SEC on August 7, 2017;

 

    Our current reports on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on February 28, 2017, March 13, 2017, March 29, 2017, April 11, 2017, April 17, 2017, April 26, 2017 and May 3, 2017;

 

    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.

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.

 

38


Table of Contents

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.

 

39


Table of Contents

 

 

$150,000,000

 

LOGO

Common Stock

 

 

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

 

 

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey

                                             BofA Merrill Lynch

                                                                                      Barclays

                                                                                                          BNP PARIBAS

                                                                                                                                       Fifth Third Securities

                                                                                                                                                                                    HSBC

                                                                                                                                                                                                J.P. Morgan

 

 

November 9, 2017

 

 

 

(Back To Top)