The GEO Group Receives Favorable Private Letter Ruling from IRS, Elects REIT Status; Declares First Qtr. REIT Dividend of $0.50/Share
The GEO Group, Inc. (NYSE: GEO) ("GEO") today announced that it has received a favorable private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service in connection with GEO's previously announced conversion to a real estate investment trust (“REIT”). GEO also has received an opinion from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, which advised GEO on its REIT conversion that GEO qualifies as a REIT. Based on the receipt of the private letter ruling and the Skadden REIT opinion, GEO's Board of Directors (the “Board”) has authorized GEO to elect REIT status effective January 1, 2013. GEO will seek inclusion in the appropriate REIT indices at the earliest possible date.
GEO also announced that on January 17, 2013, the Board declared GEO's first ever quarterly cash dividend as a REIT of $0.50 per share of common stock based on GEO's new outstanding share count of approximately 71.3 million, which includes the issuance of approximately 9.7 million shares in connection with GEO's previously announced $350 million special dividend which was paid on December 31, 2012. GEO's quarterly REIT cash dividend of $0.50 per share will be paid on March 1, 2013 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 15, 2013.
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