A French multinational bank and financial services holding company. It has been one of the main financial backers of private prison company GEO Group. In 2019, it announced that it would no longer finance US private prison operators. As of 2023, GEO Group's credit agreements to not publicly disclose the financial institutions involved.
BNP Paribas is a multinational bank and financial services holding company headquartered in Paris. In 2022, the company served some 30 million customers across the U.S. and 63 other countries and generated $50.9 billion in revenue. As of 2023, it is the ninth largest bank in the world based on total assets.
Past Financing of Private Prison Companies
BNP Paribas has been identified as one of several major financiers of private prison and immigrant detention companies, having provided revolving lines of credit, term loans, and bond underwriting services to GEO Group. While it announced in 2019 that it would no longer finance U.S. private prison operators, it is unclear, as of 2023, whether it has upheld this commitment.
In 2019, GEO Group entered into an amended credit agreement, set to expire in 2024. This agreement effectively replaced the company's 2014 credit facility of the same amount, consisting of a $900 million revolving line of credit and a $792 million term loan. As part of a syndicate of banks, BNP Paribas served as the administrative agent and as a lender, contributing an undisclosed amount of money to the deal.
Discerning the Company's Role in Current Credit Agreements
As of September 2023, BNP Paribas might still be involved in the following bond agreements—arranged prior to the bank's divestment announcement—with GEO Group:
- April 2016: GEO Group issued $350 million of bonds, with a maturity date of 2026. As part of a syndicate of banks, BNP Paribas underwrote $24.5 million worth of these bonds.
- September 2014: GEO Group issued $250 million of bonds, with a maturity date of 2024. As part of a syndicate of banks, BNP Paribas underwrote $18.8 million worth of these bonds.
In August 2022, GEO Group completed an offer to exchange/purchase certain outstanding notes, revolving credit loans, and term loans from certain lenders. As part of this agreement, GEO Group exchanged its outstanding bonds due 2023, 2024, and 2026 for newly issued bonds due 2028. SEC filings do not disclose whether BNP Paribas is still involved in any of these agreements.
- On April 26, 2017, University of Wisconsin-Madison students passed a resolution to call for the university's divestment from private prisons and corporations that build border walls, naming Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Honeywell, L-3 Communications, Boeing, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, BNP Paribas, Suntrust, US Bank Corp., and Wells Fargo.