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Actionable news in GBX: THE GREENBRIER COMPANIES Inc,

Automatic shelf registration statement of securities of well-known seasoned issuers

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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 3, 2015

Registration No. 333-

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

Form S-3

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

THE GREENBRIER COMPANIES, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

One Centerpointe Drive, Suite 200

Lake Oswego, OR 97035

(503) 684-7000

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrants principal executive offices)

Martin R. Baker

General Counsel

The Greenbrier Companies, Inc.

One Centerpointe Drive, Suite 200

Lake Oswego, OR 97035

(503) 684-7000

(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)

Copies to:

Stephen D. Cooke, Esq.

Paul Hastings LLP

695 Town Center Drive, 17th Floor

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Tel: (714) 668-6200

Fax: (714) 979-1921

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: From time to time after the effective date of this registration statement.

If the only securities being registered on this Form are being offered pursuant to dividend or interest reinvestment plans, please check the following box. ¨

If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, other than securities offered only in connection with dividend or interest reinvestment plans, check the following box. x

If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ¨

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ¨

If this Form is a registration statement pursuant to General Instruction I.D. or a post-effective amendment thereto that shall become effective upon filing with the Commission pursuant to Rule 462(e) under the Securities Act, check the following box. x

If this Form is a post-effective amendment to a registration statement filed pursuant to General Instruction I.D. filed to register additional securities or additional classes of securities pursuant to Rule 413(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box. ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of large accelerated filer, accelerated filer and smaller reporting company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

PROSPECTUS

Common Stock

Preferred Stock

Debt Securities

Guarantees

Warrants

Rights

Purchase Contracts

Units

We may from time to time offer and sell, in one or more series or classes, separately or together, the following securities:

We will offer our securities in amounts, at prices and on terms to be determined at the time we offer those securities. We will provide the specific terms of these offerings and securities in one or more supplements to this prospectus. We may also authorize one or more free writing prospectuses to be provided to you in connection with these offerings. The prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus. You should carefully read this prospectus, the applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus, as well as any documents incorporated by reference, before buying any of the securities being offered.

Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GBX. On November 2, 2015, the last reported sale price of our common stock on the New York Stock Exchange was $40.17. The applicable prospectus supplement will contain information, where applicable, as to any other listing, if any, on the New York Stock Exchange or any securities market or other exchange of the securities covered by the applicable prospectus supplement.

Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk. You should review carefully the risks and uncertainties described under the heading Risk Factors on page 3 and contained in the applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus, and under similar headings in the other documents that are incorporated by reference into this prospectus.

This prospectus may not be used to consummate a sale of any securities unless accompanied by a prospectus supplement.

The securities may be sold directly by us to investors, through agents designated from time to time or to or through underwriters or dealers (or through a combination of these methods or any other method as provided in the applicable prospectus supplement), on a continuous or delayed basis. For additional information on the methods of sale, you should refer to the section titled Plan of Distribution in this prospectus. If any agents or underwriters are involved in the sale of any securities with respect to which this prospectus is being delivered, the names of such agents or underwriters and any applicable fees, commissions, discounts and over-allotment options will be set forth in a prospectus supplement. The price to the public of such securities and the net proceeds that we expect to receive from such sale will also be set forth in a prospectus supplement.

In addition, certain selling securityholders to be identified from time to time in a prospectus supplement may sell our securities that they own. We will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale of our securities by selling securityholders.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

The date of this prospectus is November 3, 2015.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

This prospectus is part of an automatic shelf registration statement on Form S-3 that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, as a well-known seasoned issuer as defined in Rule 405 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, utilizing a shelf registration process. Under this shelf registration process, we and/or any selling securityholders may, from time to time, sell the securities or combinations of the 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 or any selling securityholders offer a type or series of securities under this prospectus, we will provide a prospectus supplement that will contain more specific information about the terms of those securities. We may also authorize one or more free writing prospectuses to be provided to you that may contain material information relating to these offerings. We may also add or update in the prospectus supplement (and in any related free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you) any of the information contained in this prospectus or in the documents we have incorporated by reference into this prospectus. We urge you to carefully read this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus, together with the information incorporated herein by reference as described under the heading Incorporation by Reference, before buying any of the securities being offered. THIS PROSPECTUS MAY NOT BE USED TO CONSUMMATE A SALE OF SECURITIES UNLESS IT IS ACCOMPANIED BY A PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT.

You should rely only on the information that we have provided or incorporated by reference in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with different information. No dealer, salesperson or other person is authorized to give any information or to represent anything not contained in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement or any related free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you. You must not rely on any unauthorized information or representation. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. This prospectus is an offer to sell only the securities offered hereby, but only under circumstances and in jurisdictions where it is lawful to do so. We will not make an offer to sell our securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted. You should assume that the information in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement, any related free writing prospectus, is accurate only as of the date on the front cover of this prospectus, the applicable free writing prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus, as applicable, and that any information we have incorporated by reference is accurate only as of the date of the document incorporated by reference, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement or any related free writing prospectus, or any sale of a security. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since that date.

This prospectus contains summaries of certain provisions contained in some of the documents described herein, but reference is made to the actual documents for complete information. All of the summaries are qualified in their entirety by the actual documents. The registration statement containing this prospectus, including exhibits to the registration statement, provides additional information about us and the securities offered under this prospectus. Copies of some of the documents referred to herein have been filed, will be filed or will be 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 the heading Where You Can Find Additional Information. The Greenbrier Companies is a registered trademark of The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. Gunderson, Maxi-Stack, Auto-Max and YSD are registered trademarks of Gunderson LLC.

THE GREENBRIER COMPANIES, INC.

We are one of the leading designers, manufacturers and marketers of railroad freight car equipment in North America and Europe, a manufacturer and marketer of marine barges in North America, a leading provider of wheel services, parts, leasing and other services to the railroad and related transportation industries in North America and a provider of railcar repair, refurbishment and retrofitting services in North America through a joint venture partnership (GBW Joint Venture). We also produce rail castings and tank heads through unconsolidated joint ventures and have a 19.5% ownership stake in a railcar manufacturer in Brazil with an option to acquire an additional 40.5% ownership interest which can be exercised no later than December 30, 2017.

We operate an integrated business model in North America that combines freight car manufacturing, wheel services, repair, refurbishment, retrofitting, component parts, leasing and fleet management services. Our model is designed to provide customers with a comprehensive set of freight car solutions utilizing our substantial engineering, mechanical and technical capabilities as well as our experienced commercial personnel. This model allows us to develop cross-selling opportunities and synergies among our various business segments and to enhance our margins. We believe our integrated model is difficult to duplicate and provides greater value for our customers.

We operate in four reportable segments: Manufacturing; Wheels & Parts; Leasing & Services; and GBW Joint Venture. Financial information about our business segments as well as geographic information is located in Note 19 Segment Information to our Consolidated Financial Statements in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed October 30, 2015.

The Greenbrier Companies, Inc., which was incorporated in Delaware in 1981, consummated a merger on February 28, 2006 with its affiliate, Greenbrier Oregon, Inc., an Oregon corporation, for the sole purpose of changing its state of incorporation from Delaware to Oregon. Greenbrier Oregon survived the merger and assumed the name, The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. Our principal executive offices are located at One Centerpointe Drive, Suite 200, Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035, our telephone number is (503) 684-7000, and our website is located at www.gbrx.com. Other than the documents specifically incorporated by reference into this prospectus, the information contained or referred to on, or otherwise accessible through, our website is not incorporated by reference or otherwise a part of this prospectus.

In this prospectus, we refer to common stock, preferred stock, debt securities, warrants, rights, purchase contracts and units collectively as securities. Unless otherwise mentioned or unless the context requires otherwise, all references in this prospectus to we, us, our, the Company, Greenbrier and similar references refer to The Greenbrier Companies, Inc., an Oregon corporation, and its wholly-owned subsidiaries.

RISK FACTORS

Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully review the risks and uncertainties described under the heading Risk Factors contained in the applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus, and under similar headings in the other documents, including our most recent annual report on Form 10-K, any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q as well as any amendments thereto, and in other filings with the SEC, that are incorporated by reference into this prospectus. The occurrence of any of these risks might cause you to lose all or part of your investment in the offered securities. Additional risks not presently known to us or that we currently believe are immaterial may also significantly impair our business operations and financial condition.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference contain forward-looking statements of Greenbrier within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, including, without limitation, statements as to expectations, beliefs and strategies regarding the future. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements rely on a number of assumptions concerning future events and include statements relating to:

Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors outside our control. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from the forward-looking statements:

Any forward-looking statements should be considered in light of these factors. Words such as anticipates, believes, forecast, potential, goal, contemplates, expects, intends, plans, projects, hopes, seeks, estimates, strategy, could, would, should, likely, will, may, can, designed to, future, foreseeable future and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Many of the important factors that will determine these results are beyond our ability to control or predict. You are cautioned not to put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Except as otherwise required by law, we do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements. In evaluating an investment in our securities, you should carefully consider the discussion of risks and uncertainties described under the heading Risk Factors contained in this prospectus and the applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus, and under similar headings in the other documents, including our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and in our most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q, as well as any amendments thereto, and in other filings with the SEC, that are incorporated by reference into this prospectus. You should carefully read both this prospectus, the applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus, together with the information incorporated herein by reference as described under the heading Incorporation by Reference, completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect.

RATIO OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES

Set forth below is information concerning our ratio of earnings to fixed charges on a consolidated basis for the periods indicated. The ratio of earnings to fixed charges below has been computed by dividing earnings before fixed charges by fixed charges. Earnings before fixed charges consist of earnings (loss) before income tax, noncontrolling interest and equity in unconsolidated subsidiaries, plus fixed charges. Fixed charges consist of interest expense, including amortization of debt issuance costs, and the portion of rental expense that we believe is representative of the interest component of lease expense. The ratio calculated below is not the same as the calculation of similarly titled fixed charge coverage ratios required by our existing debt agreements.

THE SECURITIES WE MAY OFFER

We may offer shares of our common stock or preferred stock, various series of debt securities, guarantees, warrants, rights, and/or purchase contracts to purchase common stock, preferred stock or debt securities, either individually or in units, in one or more offerings, from time to time under this prospectus at prices and on terms to be determined by market conditions at the time of any offering. We may also offer common stock or preferred stock upon conversion of debt securities, common stock upon conversion of preferred stock, or common stock, preferred stock or debt securities upon the exercise of warrants or rights. This prospectus provides you with a general description of the securities we may offer. Each time we offer a type or series of securities under this prospectus, we will provide a prospectus supplement that will describe the specific amounts, prices and other important terms of the securities including, but not limited to, to the extent applicable:

The prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you may also add or update information contained in this prospectus or in documents we have incorporated by reference. However, no prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus will offer a security that is not registered and described in this prospectus at the time of the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.

THIS PROSPECTUS MAY NOT BE USED TO CONSUMMATE A SALE OF SECURITIES UNLESS IT IS ACCOMPANIED BY A PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT.

We may sell the securities directly to investors or to or through agents, underwriters or dealers. We, and our agents or underwriters, reserve the right to accept or reject all or part of any proposed purchase of securities. If we do offer securities to or through agents or underwriters, we will include in the applicable prospectus supplement:

In addition, certain selling securityholders to be identified from time to time in a prospectus supplement may sell our securities that they own. See Selling Securityholders.

Common Stock. We may issue shares of our common stock from time to time. The holders of common stock are entitled to one vote for each share held of record on all matters submitted to a vote of shareholders and do not have cumulative voting rights. Subject to preferences that may be applicable to any outstanding shares of preferred stock, the holders of common stock are entitled to receive ratably only those dividends as may be declared by our board of directors out of legally available funds. Upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, holders of our common stock are entitled to share ratably in all assets remaining after payment of liabilities and the liquidation preferences of any outstanding shares of preferred stock.

Preferred Stock. We may issue shares of our preferred stock from time to time, in one or more series. Under our certificate of incorporation there are 25,000,000 shares of preferred stock authorized, of which 200,000 have been designated as Series A participating preferred stock. Our board of directors has the authority, without further action by shareholders, to designate the shares of preferred stock in one or more series and to fix the rights, preferences, privileges, qualifications and restrictions granted to or imposed upon the preferred stock, including dividend rights, conversion rights, voting rights, rights and terms of redemption, liquidation preference and sinking fund terms, any or all of which may be greater than the rights of the common stock. We have not issued any preferred stock.

If we sell any series of preferred stock under this prospectus, we will fix the designations, powers, preferences and rights of such series of preferred stock, as well as the qualifications, limitations or restrictions thereon, in the certificate of designation relating to that series. Convertible preferred stock will be convertible into or exchangeable for our common stock or our other securities at predetermined conversion rates. We may prescribe that conversion of such securities shall be mandatory or at your option. We will file as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, or will incorporate by reference from reports that we file with the SEC, the form of any certificate of designation that describes the terms of the series of preferred stock we are offering before the issuance of the related series of preferred stock. We urge you to read the applicable prospectus supplement (and any free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you) related to the series of preferred stock being offered, as well as the complete certificate of designation that contains the terms of the applicable series of preferred stock.

Debt Securities. We may issue debt securities from time to time, in one or more series, as either senior or subordinated debt or as senior or subordinated convertible debt and may be secured or unsecured. The senior debt securities will rank equally with any unsubordinated debt. The subordinated debt securities will rank equally with our other subordinated debts. Convertible debt securities will be convertible into or exchangeable for our common stock or our other securities at predetermined conversion rates. We may prescribe that conversion of such securities shall be mandatory or at your option.

The debt securities will be issued under one or more indentures, which are contracts between us and a national banking association or other eligible party, as trustee. In this prospectus, we have summarized certain general features of the debt securities. We urge you, however, to read the applicable prospectus supplement (and any free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you) related to the series of debt securities being offered, as well as the complete indentures that contain the terms of the debt securities. We have filed these indentures as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, and supplemental indentures and forms of debt securities containing the terms of the debt securities being offered will be filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part or will be incorporated by reference from reports that we file with the SEC.

Guarantees. Our debt securities may be guaranteed. Each prospectus supplement will describe any guarantees of debt securities for the benefit of the series of debt securities to which it relates. If so provided in a prospectus supplement, the debt securities will be guaranteed by each of the guarantors named in such prospectus supplement. The specific terms and provisions of each guarantee will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement.

Warrants. We may issue warrants for the purchase of debt or equity securities described in this prospectus in one or more series. We may issue warrants independently or together with any offered securities, and the warrants may be attached to or separate from these securities. In this prospectus, we have summarized certain general features of the warrants. We urge you, however, to read the applicable prospectus supplement (and any free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you) related to the particular series of warrants being offered, as well as the complete warrant agreements and warrant certificates that contain the terms of the warrants. We will file as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, or will incorporate by reference from reports that we file with the SEC, forms of the warrant agreements and forms of warrant certificates containing the terms of the warrants being offered.

We will evidence each series of warrants by warrant certificates that we will issue. Warrants may be issued under an applicable warrant agreement that we enter into with a warrant agent. We will indicate the name and address of the warrant agent, if applicable, in the prospectus supplement relating to the particular series of warrants being offered.

Rights. We may issue rights for the purchase of debt or equity securities in one or more series. These rights may be issued independently or together with any other security offered hereby and may or may not be transferable by the stockholder receiving the rights in such offering. In this prospectus, we have summarized certain general features of the rights. We urge you, however, to read the applicable prospectus supplement (and any free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you) related to the particular series of rights being offered, as well as the complete rights agreements that contain the terms of the rights. We will file as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, or will incorporate by reference from reports that we file with the SEC, the form of rights agreements that describes the terms of the rights we are offering, and any supplemental agreements, before the issuance of the related series of rights.

Purchase Contracts . We may issue purchase contracts, including contracts obligating holders to purchase from or sell to us, and for us to sell to or purchase from the holders, a specified principal amount of debt securities or a specified number of shares of common stock or shares of preferred stock at a future date or dates. The purchase contracts may be issued separately or as part of units, often known as purchase units, consisting of a purchase contract and other securities or obligations issued by us or third parties, including U.S. Treasury securities, which may secure the holders obligations to purchase the debt securities, common stock or preferred stock under the purchase contracts. In this prospectus, we have summarized certain general features of the purchase contracts and purchase units. We urge you, however, to read the applicable prospectus supplement (and any free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you) related to the particular purchase contracts or purchase units being offered, as well as the complete purchase contracts relating to the purchase contracts or purchase units. We will file as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, or will incorporate by reference from reports that we file with the SEC, the form of purchase contracts, and, if applicable, the collateral or depositary arrangements, relating to the purchase contracts or purchase units being offered.

Units. We may issue, in one or more series, units consisting of common stock, preferred stock, debt securities, rights, purchase contracts and/or warrants for the purchase of common stock, preferred stock and/or debt securities in any combination. In this prospectus, we have summarized certain general features of the units. We urge you, however, to read the applicable prospectus supplement (and any free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you) related to the series of units being offered, as well as the complete unit agreement that contains the terms of the units. We will file as exhibits to the registration statement of which this

prospectus is a part, or will incorporate by reference from reports that we file with the SEC, the form of unit agreement and any supplemental agreements that describe the terms of the series of units being offered.

DESCRIPTION OF OUR CAPITAL STOCK

The following description is a general summary of the terms of our common stock and preferred stock. The description below does not include all of the terms of the common stock and preferred stock and should be read together with our Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, as amended, copies of which have been filed with the SEC.

General

Under our Articles of Incorporation, we are authorized to issue 75,000,000 shares, of which 50,000,000 have been designated shares of common stock, without par value, and 25,000,000 have been designated shares of preferred stock, without par value, of which 200,000 shares of preferred stock have been designated as Series A participating preferred stock. As of October 30, 2015, 28,616,995 shares of common stock were issued and outstanding. We have not issued any shares of our preferred stock.

Common Stock

Holders of common stock are entitled to one vote per share on all matters to be voted upon by the shareholders. There are no cumulative voting rights. Holders of common stock have no preemptive or conversion rights and are entitled to receive ratable dividends when and if declared by the board of directors out of funds legally available for the payment of dividends, subject to any preferential rights of any then-outstanding preferred stock. There are no redemption or sinking fund provisions applicable to common stock. Subject to the rights of holders of any preferred stock, holders of common stock are entitled to share ratably in our assets legally available for distribution to shareholders in the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up after payment of or adequate provision for all our known debts and liabilities. Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GBX.

Preferred Stock

The board of directors may, without further action by the shareholders, issue preferred stock in one or more series and fix the rights and preferences of the preferred stock, including voting rights, dividend rates, conversion rights, terms of redemption (including sinking fund provisions) and liquidation preferences. The issuance of preferred stock by action of the board of directors could adversely affect the voting power, dividend rights and other rights of holders of common stock. Issuance of a series of preferred stock also could, depending upon the terms of series, impede the completion of a merger, tender offer or other takeover attempt.

Antitakeover Provisions

Our Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, as currently in effect, contain provisions that may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of our ownership or management. They provide for:

Antitakeover Effects of Provisions of Oregon Law

Oregon Takeover Statute; Hostile Takeovers. The Oregon Control Share Act, or OCSA, regulates the process by which a person may acquire control of certain Oregon-based corporations without the consent and cooperation of the board of directors. The OCSA provisions restrict a shareholders ability to vote shares of stock acquired in certain transactions not approved by the board that cause the acquiring person to gain control of a voting position exceeding one-fifth, one-third, or one-half of the votes entitled to be cast in an election of directors. Shares acquired in a control share acquisition have no voting rights except as authorized by a vote of the shareholders. A corporation may opt out of the OCSA by provision in the corporations articles of incorporation or bylaws. We have not opted out of the coverage of the OCSA.

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