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BOCA RATON, FL-The Geo Group Inc. has used $200 million from its March 23 stock offering to cut its outstanding debt from $515 million to $315 million. The remaining portion consists of $150 million in senior unsecured notes and $165 million in term loan borrowings.

The stock offering of nearly 5.5 million shares, including 712,500 for over-allotments, raised proceeds of $226.3 million. The remainder will be used for general corporate purposes, including “potential acquisitions of complementary businesses and other assets,” according to a Geo statement.

The repayment decreases the locally based manager of correctional, detention and residential treatment centers’ ratio of debt to earnings from 5.1 to approximately 2.8. “This infusion of capital will improve our financial position and enhance our ability to pursue new growth opportunities through the potential expansion of existing facilities as well as new business development projects,” says George Zoley, chairman, CEO and founder, in a statement.

Pablo Paez, the company’s director of corporate relations, tells GlobeSt.com that Geo has undertaken “a review of potential expansion at sites we own and manage. We haven’t disclosed the identity of specific sites and haven’t yet provided a timeline for expansion,” he says. This applies to the 15 correctional facilities that Geo both owns and manages in the US, not the 40 that it manages under third-party contracts.

Three weeks ago, the company signed a new contract with the state of Indiana’s Department of Correction for the housing of up to 1,260 additional inmates at the 2,416-bed New Castle Correctional Facility. Geo’s prior contract covers more than 1,000 Indiana inmates. The additional ones are from another jurisdiction that has entered into a one-year contract with the department, and Geo’s new agreement includes three successive one-year extensions subject to mutual agreement of the two agencies.

As a result of this contract, Geo revised its third- and fourth-quarter 2007 financial guidance. It anticipates third-quarter operating revenue to range between $228 million and $233 million, exclusive of pass-through construction revenues, which is up from an earlier estimated range of between $224 million and $229 million. The new fourth-quarter estimate calls for a range of between $234 million and $239 million, and the expected full-year range is estimated at between $900 million and $920 million.

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