SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20549
|☒||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2020
|TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
|For the transition period from to|
Commission File Number 1-13045
IRON MOUNTAIN INCORPORATED
(Exact name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation)
One Federal Street, Boston, Massachusetts
(Address of principal executive offices)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of Each Class|| ||Trading Symbols(s)||Name of Exchange on Which Registered|
|Common Stock, $.01 par value per share|| ||IRM||New York Stock Exchange|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
|Large accelerated filer|
|Smaller reporting company|
|Emerging growth company|
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report .Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
As of June 30, 2020, the aggregate market value of the Common Stock of the registrant held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $7.4 billion based on the closing price on the New York Stock Exchange on such date.
Number of shares of the registrant’s Common Stock at February 19, 2021: 288,421,215
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Certain information required in Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K (the “Annual Report”) is incorporated by reference from our definitive Proxy Statement for our 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (our “Proxy Statement”) to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) within 120 days after the close of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020.
IRON MOUNTAIN INCORPORATED
2020 FORM 10-K ANNUAL REPORT
TABLE OF CONTENTS
References in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 (this "Annual Report") to “the Company,” “Iron Mountain,” “we,” “us” or “our” include Iron Mountain Incorporated, a Delaware corporation, and its predecessor, as applicable, and its consolidated subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
We have made statements in this Annual Report that constitute “forward-looking statements” as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other securities laws. These forward-looking statements concern our operations, economic performance, financial condition, goals, beliefs, future growth strategies, investment objectives, plans and current expectations, such as our (1) expectations and assumptions regarding the impact of the COVID-19 (as defined below) pandemic on us and our customers, including on our businesses, financial position, results of operations and cash flows, (2) commitment to future dividend payments, (3) expected change in volume of records stored with us, (4) expected organic revenue growth, including 2021 consolidated organic storage rental revenue growth rate and consolidated organic total revenue growth rate, (5) expectations that profits will increase in our growth portfolio, including our higher-growth markets, and that our growth portfolio will become a larger part of our business over time, (6) expectations related to our revenue management programs and continuous improvement initiatives, (7) expectations related to monetizing our owned industrial real estate assets as part of our capital recycling program, (8) expected ability to identify and complete acquisitions and drive returns on invested capital, (9) anticipated capital expenditures, (10) expected benefits, costs and actions related to, and timing of, Project Summit (as defined below), and (11) other forward-looking statements related to our business, results of operations and financial condition. These forward-looking statements are subject to various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, and you should not rely upon them except as statements of our present intentions and of our present expectations, which may or may not occur. When we use words such as “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “estimates”, "plans", "intends" or similar expressions, we are making forward-looking statements. Although we believe that our forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, our expected results may not be achieved, and actual results may differ materially from our expectations. In addition, important factors that could cause actual results to differ from expectations include, among others:
•the severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the global economy, including its effects on us, the markets we serve and our customers and the third parties with whom we do business within those markets;
•our ability to execute on Project Summit and the potential impacts of Project Summit on our ability to retain and recruit employees;
•our ability to remain qualified for taxation as a real estate investment trust for United States federal income tax purposes (“REIT”);
•changes in customer preferences and demand for our storage and information management services, including as a result of the shift from paper and tape storage to alternative technologies that require less physical space;
•our ability or inability to execute our strategic growth plan, including our ability to invest according to plan, incorporate new digital information technologies into our offerings, achieve satisfactory returns on new product offerings, continue our revenue management, expand internationally, complete acquisitions on satisfactory terms, integrate acquired companies efficiently and grow our business through joint ventures;
•changes in the amount of our capital expenditures;
•our ability to raise debt or equity capital and changes in the cost of our debt;
•the cost and our ability to comply with laws, regulations and customer demands, including those relating to data security and privacy issues, as well as fire and safety and environmental standards;
•the impact of litigation or disputes that may arise in connection with incidents in which we fail to protect our customers’ information or our internal records or information technology (“IT”) systems and the impact of such incidents on our reputation and ability to compete;
•changes in the price for our storage and information management services relative to the cost of providing such storage and information management services;
•changes in the political and economic environments in the countries in which our international subsidiaries operate and changes in the global political climate, particularly as we consolidate operations and move records and data across borders;
•our ability to comply with our existing debt obligations and restrictions in our debt instruments;
•the impact of service interruptions or equipment damage and the cost of power on our data center operations;
•the cost or potential liabilities associated with real estate necessary for our business;
•failures in our adoption of new IT systems;
•other trends in competitive or economic conditions affecting our financial condition or results of operations not presently contemplated; and
•the other risks described in our periodic reports filed with the SEC, including under the caption "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report.
Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements appearing in this report.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS.
We help organizations around the world protect their information, reduce storage costs, comply with regulations, facilitate corporate disaster recovery, and better use their information and IT infrastructure for business advantages, regardless of its format, location or life cycle stage. We do this by storing physical records and data backup media, offering information management solutions, and providing data center space for enterprise-class colocation and hyperscale deployments. We offer comprehensive records and information management services and data management services, along with the expertise and experience to address complex storage and information management challenges such as rising storage rental costs, legal and regulatory compliance, and disaster recovery requirements. We provide secure and reliable data center facilities to protect digital information and ensure the continued operation of our customers’ IT infrastructure, with reliable and flexible deployment options.
Founded in an underground facility near Hudson, New York in 1951, Iron Mountain Incorporated, a Delaware corporation, has approximately 225,000 customers in a variety of industries in 56 countries around the world, as of December 31, 2020. We currently serve customers across an array of market verticals - commercial, legal, financial, healthcare, insurance, life sciences, energy, business services, entertainment and government organizations, including approximately 96% of the Fortune 1000. As of December 31, 2020, we employed approximately 24,000 people. We are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and are a constituent of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the MSCI REIT index. As of December 31, 2020, we were number 619 on the Fortune 1000.
We have been organized and have operated as a REIT beginning with our taxable year ended December 31, 2014.
Our company has been a market leader in the physical ecosystem supporting information storage and retrieval, as most businesses have relied on paper documents or computer tapes to store their valuable information. Over time, customers are increasing their digital information, with the new information storage ecosystem being a hybrid of physical and digital mediums. We are a different company than the one we have been historically. The strategic journey we are on is driving this change and our focus remains on three pillars outlined below to grow our business.
Continued growth in physical storage through revenue management as well as volume growth achieved in faster growing emerging markets and consumer and adjacent business growth in developed markets
•We are establishing and enhancing leadership positions in higher-growth markets such as central and eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa, through both organic expansion and acquisitions in countries where GDP growth is faster and outsourcing information management is at an earlier stage.
•We continue to identify, acquire, incubate and scale complementary businesses and products to support our long-term growth objectives and drive solid returns on invested capital. These opportunities include our digital services and our Entertainment Services, Fine Arts and Consumer Storage (each as defined below) businesses.
Utilizing our global scale as well as 70 years of customer trust to deliver differentiated data center offerings
•We have made significant progress in scaling our Global Data Center Business through acquisitions and organic growth, with 15 operating data centers across 13 global markets.
•As of December 31, 2020, approximately 87% of our data center capacity was leased. With total potential capacity of 376 megawatts ("MW") in land and buildings currently owned or operated by us, we are among the largest global data center operators.
Developing and offering new products and services that allow our customers to achieve reliable and secure information management solutions in an increasingly hybrid physical and digital world
•Our customers are faced with navigating a more complex regulatory environment, and one in which hybrid physical and digital solutions have become the norm. Our strategy is underpinned by our persistent focus on best-in-class customer experience, as we continue to seek innovative solutions to help our customers progress on their journey from physical storage to a digital ecosystem.
|IRON MOUNTAIN 2020 FORM 10-K|
In October 2019, we announced our global program ("Project Summit") designed to better position us for future growth and achievement of our strategic objectives. We expanded Project Summit during the first quarter of 2020 to include additional opportunities to streamline our business and operations, as well as accelerated the timing of certain opportunities previously identified. Such opportunities include leveraging new technology solutions to enable us to modernize our service delivery model and more efficiently utilize our fleet, labor and real estate. For further details on Project Summit, see the "Overview" section of “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in this Annual Report.
DESIGNED TO ACCELERATE EXECUTION OF STRATEGY AND CONTINUE GROWTH
Simplifying Global Structure
•Combining Records and Information ("RIM") operations under one global leader
•Rebalancing resources to sharpen focus on higher growth areas
|Compelling Adjusted EBITDA Benefits|
Expected annual run-rate benefits realized exiting 2021
Streamlining Management Structure for the Future
•Condensing number of layers and reporting levels
•Reducing number of positions at Vice President level and above by ~45%
•Reducing total managerial and administrative workforce by 700 positions
•Realignment to create a more dynamic, agile organization better positioned to make faster decisions and execute strategy in key growth areas
Enhancing Customer Experience
•Aligning global and regional customer-facing resources across RIM product lines to provide customers with a more integrated experience
•Leveraging technology to modernize processes for better alignment between new digital solutions and our core business
•Providing customers with a consistent experience across global footprint and introducing new ways of engaging with customers
|IRON MOUNTAIN 2020 FORM 10-K|
The amount of revenues derived from our business segments and other relevant data, including financial information about geographic areas and product and service lines, for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, are set forth in Note 10 to Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report.
The Global RIM Business segment includes five distinct offerings.
Records Management, stores physical records and provides healthcare information services, vital records services, courier operations, and the collection, handling and disposal of sensitive documents (collectively, “Records Management”) for customers in 56 countries around the globe. As of December 31, 2020, we stored approximately 710 million cubic feet of hardcopy records.
Data Management, provides storage and rotation of backup computer media as part of corporate disaster recovery plans, including service and courier operations (“Data Protection & Recovery”); server and computer backup services; and related services offerings, (collectively, “Data Management”).
Global Digital Solutions (“GDS”), develops, implements and supports comprehensive storage and information management solutions for the complete lifecycle of our customers’ information, including the management of physical records, conversion of documents to digital formats and digital storage of information, primarily in the United States and Canada.
Secure Shredding, includes the scheduled pick-up of office records that customers accumulate in specially designed secure containers we provide and is a natural extension of our hardcopy records management operations, completing the lifecycle of a record. Complementary to our shredding operations is the sale of the resultant waste paper to third-party recyclers. Through a combination of shredding facilities and mobile shredding units consisting of custom built trucks, we are able to offer secure shredding services to our customers throughout the United States, Canada and South Africa.
Consumer Storage, provides on-demand, valet storage for consumers (“Consumer Storage”) across 31 markets in North America through a strategic partnership (the “MakeSpace JV”) with MakeSpace Labs, Inc., a consumer storage provider (“MakeSpace”), formed in March 2019. The MakeSpace JV utilizes data analytics and machine learning to provide effective customer acquisition and a convenient and seamless consumer storage experience.
|GLOBAL DATA CENTER BUSINESS|
The Global Data Center Business segment provides enterprise-class data center facilities and hyperscale-ready capacity to protect mission-critical assets and ensure the continued operation of our customers’ IT infrastructure, with secure, reliable and flexible data center options. The world’s most heavily regulated organizations have trusted us with their data centers for over 15 years, and as of December 31, 2020, five of the top 10 global cloud providers were Iron Mountain Data Center customers.
As of December 31, 2020, our Global Data Center Business footprint spans nine markets in the United States: Denver, Colorado; Kansas City, Missouri; Boston, Massachusetts; Boyers, Pennsylvania; Manassas, Virginia; Edison, New Jersey; Columbus, Ohio; and Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona and four international markets: Amsterdam, London, Singapore and, through an unconsolidated joint venture, Frankfurt.
|CORPORATE AND OTHER BUSINESS|
The Corporate and Other Business segment consists primarily of Adjacent Businesses and other corporate items.
Adjacent Businesses is comprised of (i) entertainment and media which helps industry clients store, safeguard and deliver physical media of all types, and provides digital content repository systems that house, distribute, and archive key media assets, throughout the United States, Canada, France, China - Hong Kong S.A.R., the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (“Entertainment Services”) and (ii) technical expertise in the handling, installation and storing of art in the United States, Canada and Europe (“Fine Arts”).
Our Corporate and Other Business segment also includes costs related to executive and staff functions, including finance, human resources and IT, which benefit the enterprise as a whole.
|IRON MOUNTAIN 2020 FORM 10-K|
Our business has the following attributes:
The world’s most heavily regulated organizations trust us with the storage of their records. Our mission-critical storage offerings and related services generated approximately $4.1 billion in annual revenue in 2020. Our business has a highly diverse customer base of approximately 225,000 customers - with no single customer accounting for more than 1% of revenue during the year ended December 31, 2020 - and operates in 56 countries globally. This presents a significant cross-sell opportunity for our Global Data Center and Global Digital Solutions businesses.
We generate a majority of our revenues from contracted storage rental fees, via agreements that generally range from one to five years in length. Historically, in our Records Management business, we have seen strong customer retention (of approximately 98%) and solid physical records retention; more than 50% of physical records that entered our facilities 15 years ago are still with us today. We have also seen strong customer retention in our Global Data Center Business, with low annual customer churn of approximately 4% - 8%.
As an S&P 500 REIT with approximately 1,450 locations globally and with offerings spanning physical storage, digitization solutions and digital storage, we are positioned to provide a holistic offering to our customers. We are able to cater to our customers’ physical and digital needs and to help guide their digital transformation journey.
Significant Owner and Operator
of Real Estate
We operate approximately 93 million square feet of real estate worldwide. Our owned real estate footprint spans nearly 26 million square feet and is concentrated in major metropolitan statistical areas in North America, Western Europe and Latin America.
Limited Revenue Cyclicality
Historically, economic downturns have not significantly affected our storage rental business. Due to the durability of our total global physical volumes, the success of our revenue management initiatives, and the growth of our Global Data Center Business, we believe we can continue to grow organic storage rental revenue over time.
Shifting Revenue Mix
We have identified a number of areas where we see opportunity for growth as we position ourselves to unlock greater value for our customers. These business lines, including Data Center, Fine Arts and Entertainment Services, Consumer Storage and Secure IT Asset Disposition, represent markets with strong secular growth.
|IRON MOUNTAIN 2020 FORM 10-K|
In addition, our Global Data Center business has the following attributes:
Large Data Center
Platform with Significant
As of December 31, 2020, we had 130 MW of leasable capacity with an additional 246 MW under construction or held for development.
We offer comprehensive compliance support and physical and cyber security. Our multi-layered approach to security includes a combination of technical and human security measures, and experienced senior military and public sector cyber security leaders oversee our security. As of December 31, 2020, our data centers comply with one of the most comprehensive compliance programs in the industry, including enterprise-wide certified ISO 14001 and 50001 environmental and energy management systems. We also report globally on service organizational controls, PCI-DSS compliance, and met FISMA HIGH and FedRAMP controls in the United States.
We have the ability to provide customers with a range of deployment options from one cabinet to an entire building, leveraging our global portfolio of hyperscale-ready and underground data centers. We also provide access to numerous carriers, cloud providers and peering exchanges with migration support and IT.
100% Green Powered
As of December 31, 2020, our Global Data Center platform was powered by 100% renewable energy, with carbon credit assistance and low power usage effectiveness (“PUE"). We are one of the top 25 buyers of renewable energy among the Fortune 1000 and now offer the Green Power Pass, which allows customers to include the power they consume at any Iron Mountain data center as green power in their CDP, RE100, GRI, or other sustainability reporting.
We compete with thousands of storage and information management services providers around the world as well as storage and information management services managed and operated internally by organizations. We believe that competition for records and information customers is based on price, reputation and reliability, quality and security of storage, quality of service and scope and scale of technology. While the majority of our competitors operate in only one market or region, we believe we provide a differentiated global offering that competes effectively in these areas.
We also compete with numerous data center developers, owners and operators, many of whom own properties similar to ours in some of the same metropolitan areas where our facilities are located. We believe that competition for data center customers is based on availability of power, security considerations, location, connectivity and rental rates, and we generally believe we compete effectively in each of these areas. Additionally, we believe our strong brand, global footprint and excellent commercial relationships enable us to compete successfully and provide significant cross-sell opportunities with our existing customer base.
HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT
As of December 31, 2020, we employed approximately 9,000 employees in the United States and approximately 15,000 employees outside of the United States. As of December 31, 2020, approximately 500 employees in California and Georgia and three provinces in Canada were represented by unions in North America and approximately 1,100 employees were represented by unions in Latin America (in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico). All union employees are currently under renewed labor agreements or operating under an extension agreement.
Where applicable, employees are generally eligible to participate in our benefit programs, which may include health and welfare arrangements as well as pension schemes. Certain unionized employees in California receive these types of benefits through their unions and are not eligible to participate in our benefit programs. In addition to base compensation and other usual benefits, a significant portion of full-time employees participate in some form of incentive-based compensation program that provides payments based on revenues, profits or attainment of specified objectives for the unit in which they work.
|IRON MOUNTAIN 2020 FORM 10-K|
INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY
We believe that an inclusive environment with diverse teams produces more creative solutions, results in better, more innovative products and services and is crucial to our efforts to attract and retain key talent. We have prioritized inclusion and diversity ("I&D") as part of our corporate-wide strategic goals. Strategies we have taken to create and sustain a more inclusive and diverse environment include: appointing senior leadership for I&D efforts; ensuring that our recruiting efforts reflect our diversity goals; and launching, expanding and supporting our Employee Resource Groups—groups of our employees that voluntarily join together based on shared characteristics, life experiences, or interest around particular activities.
We recognize that a great culture is foundational to how we deliver on our purpose and strategy and create sustained growth and value for our shareholders. We have committed significant resources to building a sustainable culture that enables innovation and creativity and facilitates trust, employee engagement, belonging and better performance. We understand the importance of listening to our employees, and, to that end, we regularly survey our employees to obtain their views and assess their experience. We use the views expressed in the surveys to adjust our approach on culture and driving employee engagement. We also use employee survey information, headcount data and cost analyses to gain insights into how and where we work.
We are committed to integrating responsible and sustainable practices throughout our organization to help our operations to have a positive impact on the environment and the communities in which we operate. We aim to give back to the communities where we live and work, and believe that this commitment helps in our efforts to attract and retain employees. We offer philanthropic support to our global community through our Living Legacy Initiative, which is our commitment to help preserve and make accessible cultural and historical information and artifacts. We encourage volunteerism in the communities in which we live and work through our Moving Mountains volunteer program, offering paid time off for employees to help community-based and civic-minded organizations.
For strategic risk transfer purposes, we maintain a comprehensive insurance program with insurers that we believe to be reputable and that have adequate capitalization in amounts that we believe to be appropriate. Property insurance is purchased on a comprehensive basis, including flood and earthquake (including excess coverage), subject to certain policy conditions, sublimits and deductibles. Property is insured based upon the replacement cost of real and personal property, including leasehold improvements, business income loss and extra expense. Other types of insurance that we carry, which are also subject to certain policy conditions, sublimits and deductibles, include medical, workers’ compensation, general liability, umbrella, automobile, professional, warehouse legal liability and directors’ and officers’ liability policies.
We are required to comply with numerous U.S. federal, state, and foreign laws and regulations covering a wide variety of subject matters which may have a material effect on our capital expenditures, earnings and competitive position.
For example, some of our current and formerly owned or leased properties were previously used by entities other than us for industrial or other purposes, or were affected by waste generated from nearby properties, that involved the use, storage, generation and/or disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, including petroleum products. In some instances, this prior use involved the operation of underground storage tanks or the presence of asbestos-containing materials. Where we are aware of environmental conditions that require remediation, we undertake appropriate activity, in accordance with all legal requirements. Although we have from time to time conducted limited environmental investigations and remedial activities at some of our former and current facilities, we have not undertaken an environmental review of all of our properties, including those we have acquired. We therefore may be potentially liable for environmental cost and may be unable to sell, rent, mortgage or use contaminated real estate owned or leased by us. Under various federal, state and local environmental laws, we may be liable for environmental compliance and remediation costs to address contamination, if any, located at owned and leased properties as well as damages arising from such contamination, whether or not we know of, or were responsible for, the contamination, or the contamination occurred while we owned or leased the property. Environmental conditions for which we might be liable may also exist at properties that we may acquire in the future. In addition, future regulatory action and environmental laws may impose costs for environmental compliance that do not exist today.
We transfer a portion of our risk of financial loss due to currently undetected environmental matters by purchasing an environmental impairment liability insurance policy, which covers all owned and leased locations. Coverage is provided for both liability and remediation costs.
|IRON MOUNTAIN 2020 FORM 10-K|
In addition, we are subject to numerous U.S. federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations relating to data privacy and cybersecurity, which are complex, change frequently and have tended to become more stringent over time. We devote substantial resources, and may in the future have to devote significant additional resources, to facilitate compliance with these laws and regulations, and to investigate, defend or remedy actual or alleged violations or breaches. Any failure by us to comply with, or remedy any violations or breaches of, these laws and regulations could result in the curtailment of certain of our operations, the imposition of fines and penalties, liability resulting from litigation, restrictions on our ability to carry on or expand our operations, significant costs and expenses and reputational harm.
For more information about laws and regulations that could affect our business, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors” included in this Annual Report.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Through our approach to Corporate Social Responsibility, we not only see ourselves as having our own responsibility to society, but also in helping our customers with their own environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, and helping them gain value, make improvements and save costs. We are committed to responsible, sustainable growth and focus our environmental sustainability efforts on the concrete steps we can take to minimize the impact our operations have on the environment. To that end, we have publicly adopted long-term energy and emissions goals that establish aggressive reduction targets. We are committed to the safety and well-being of our employees and strive to cultivate a culture of inclusion that values diverse perspectives across our global workforce. Iron Mountain and its employees also make a social impact in the communities in which we operate through charitable giving and volunteerism.
We have been recognized for our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. We were named one of America’s Most Responsible Companies by Newsweek magazine in 2020. We ranked 81st on Newsweek’s 2021 list of America’s Most Responsible Companies. We received a 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.
We are committed to transparent reporting on sustainability and corporate responsibility efforts in accordance with the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative. Our corporate responsibility report highlights our progress against key measures of success for our efforts in the community, our environment, and for our people. We are a member of the FTSE4 Good Index, MSCI World ESG Index, MSCI ACWI ESG Index and MSCI USA IMI ESG Index, each of which include companies that meet globally recognized corporate responsibility standards. A copy of our corporate responsibility report is available on the “About Us” section of our website, www.ironmountain.com, under the heading “Corporate Social Responsibility." We are not including the information contained on or available through our website as part of, or incorporating such information by reference into, this Annual Report. In addition, we continue to work to further align our reporting with the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures to disclose climate-related financial risks and opportunities.
STRONG SUSTAINABILITY FOCUS
•Green Power Pass solution in Data Center market to help customers manage their carbon footprint.
•Part of RE100 Initiative — commitment to using renewable energy sources for 100% of our worldwide electricity.
•81% of our global electricity use — including 100% of the electricity used to power our Data Center business — was from renewable sources in 2020.
•Recognized as a top 25 U.S. buyer of renewable energy and honored with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Goal Achiever Award.
•Reduced GHG emissions by 52% (since 2016) and achieved a 25% reduction in non-IT energy intensity, surpassing an original goal of 20% by 2026.
•Received a 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Our Internet address is www.ironmountain.com. Under the “Investors” section on our website, we make available, free of charge, our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our 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 (the “Exchange Act”) as soon as reasonably practicable after such forms are filed with or furnished to the SEC. We are not including the information contained on or available through our website as a part of, or incorporating such information by reference into, this Annual Report. Copies of our corporate governance guidelines, code of ethics and the charters of our audit, compensation, finance, nominating and governance, risk and safety, and technology committees are available on the “Investors” section of our website, www.ironmountain.com, under the heading “Corporate Governance."
|IRON MOUNTAIN 2020 FORM 10-K|
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS.
We face many risks. If any of the events or circumstances described below actually occur, we and our businesses, financial condition or results of operations could suffer, and the trading price of our debt or equity securities could decline. Our current and potential investors should consider the following risks and the information contained under the heading “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” before deciding to invest in our securities.
Our customers may shift from paper and tape storage to alternative technologies that require less physical space.
We derive most of our revenues from rental fees for the storage of physical records and computer backup tapes and from storage related services. Storage volume and/or demand for our traditional storage related services may decline as our customers adopt alternative storage technologies, which require significantly less space than traditional physical records and tape storage. Our customers’ shift from paper and tape storage to alternative technologies may accelerate as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While volumes in our Global RIM Business segment were relatively steady in 2020 and we expect them to remain relatively consistent in the near term, we can provide no assurance that our customers will continue to store most or a portion of their records as paper documents or as tapes, or that the paper documents or tapes they do store with us will require our storage related services at the same levels as they have in the past. A significant shift by our customers to storage of data through non-paper or non-tape-based technologies, whether now existing or developed in the future, could adversely affect our businesses. In addition, the digitization of records may shift our revenue mix from the more predictable storage revenue to service revenue, which is inherently more volatile.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting economic impact may materially adversely affect our business, operations, financial results and liquidity.
In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared a novel strain of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) a pandemic. This resulted in U.S. federal, state and local and foreign governments and private entities mandating various restrictions, including travel restrictions, restrictions on public gatherings and stay-at-home orders and advisories. In response, we temporarily closed certain of our offices and facilities across the world, implemented certain travel restrictions for our employees and transitioned many of our employees to remote working arrangements, with some of our operations being run with limited personnel on site. In addition, many of our customers have implemented stay-at-home measures and other restrictions that reduce the demand for our routine services. The preventative and protective actions that governments have ordered, or we or our customers have implemented, have resulted in a period of reduced service operations and business disruption for us, our customers and other third parties with which we do business.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a substantial adverse impact on the global economy. While we do not currently believe that the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic have had a material adverse impact on our ability to collect our accounts receivable, global economic conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic may have a material adverse effect on our customers, which could impact our future ability to collect our accounts receivable. In addition, if the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recessionary conditions continue to disrupt the credit and financial markets or impact our credit ratings, our ability to access capital on favorable terms, if at all, could be adversely affected, which could have an adverse effect on our liquidity needs.
Due to the unpredictable and rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic distress, the extent to which it continues to impact us will depend on numerous factors that we are currently unable to predict, including: the duration and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic; the development, distribution and efficacy of any COVID-19 vaccines; the duration or re-emergence of outbreaks; the continuation, resumption, and/or expansion of restrictions imposed by governments and businesses; the impact of the pandemic on economic activity and any resulting recessionary conditions, and the strength and duration of any economic recovery; the health of our workforce; our ability to meet staffing needs for critical functions; and the impact on our customers, suppliers, vendors, and other business partners, and their respective financial condition. Furthermore, when the COVID-19 pandemic has ended, our ability to resume normal business operations may be delayed, and actions we have taken to manage costs may make it more challenging to meet any increased customer demand following the pandemic.
Failure to execute our strategic growth plan may adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations.
As part of our strategic growth plan, we expect to invest in our existing businesses, including records and information management storage and services businesses in our higher-growth markets, data centers and adjacent businesses, and in new businesses, business strategies, products, services, technologies and geographies, and we may selectively divest certain businesses. These initiatives may involve significant risks and uncertainties, including:
•our inability to execute on our plan to incorporate the digitization of our customers’ records and new digital information technologies into our offerings;
•failure to achieve satisfactory returns on new product offerings, acquired companies, joint ventures, growth initiatives, or other investments, particularly in markets where we do not currently operate or have a substantial presence;
•our inability to identify suitable companies to acquire, invest in or partner with;
•our inability to complete acquisitions or investments on satisfactory terms;
•our inability to structure acquisitions or investments in a manner that complies with our debt covenants and is consistent with our leverage ratio goals;
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•increased demands on our management, operating systems, internal controls and financial and physical resources and, if necessary, our inability to successfully expand our infrastructure;
•incurring additional debt necessary to acquire suitable companies or make other growth investments if we are unable to pay the purchase price or make the investment out of working capital or the issuance of our common stock or other equity securities;
•our inability to manage the budgeting, forecasting and other process control issues presented by future growth, particularly with respect to operations in countries outside of the United States or in new lines of business;
•insufficient revenues to offset expenses and liabilities associated with new investments; and
•our inability to attract, develop and retain skilled employees to lead and support our strategic growth plan, particularly in new businesses, technologies, products or offerings outside our core competencies.
Our data center expansion in particular requires significant capital commitments. Our data center expansion and other new ventures are inherently risky and we can provide no assurance that such strategies and offerings will be successful in achieving the desired returns within a reasonable timeframe, if at all, and that they will not adversely affect our business, reputation, financial condition, and operating results.
We face competition from other companies, some of which possess substantial resources, in our efforts to grow our data center, international and complementary businesses. As a result, we may be unable to acquire or invest in, or we may pay a premium purchase price for, data centers, technology and higher-growth markets and adjacent businesses that support our strategic growth plan, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. The foregoing risks may be exacerbated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As stored records and tapes become less active our service revenue growth and profitability from related services may decline.
Our Records Management and Data Management service revenue growth is being negatively impacted by declining activity rates as stored records and tapes are becoming less active and more archival, and these activity levels were further negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The amount of information available to customers digitally or in their own information systems has been steadily increasing in recent years, and we believe this trend continues to accelerate. As a result, our customers are less likely than they have been in the past to retrieve records and rotate tapes, thereby reducing their activity levels. At the same time, many of our costs related to records and tape related services remain fixed. In addition, our reputation for providing secure information storage is critical to our success, and actions to manage cost structure, such as outsourcing certain transportation, security or other functions, could negatively impact our reputation and adversely affect our business. Ultimately, if we are unable to appropriately align our cost structure with decreased levels of service activity, our operating results could be adversely affected.
Our program to simplify our global structure may not be successful.
In October 2019, we announced Project Summit, a global program designed to better position us for future growth and achievement of our strategic objectives. Project Summit focuses on simplifying our global records and information management structure, streamlining our managerial structure and leveraging our global and regional customer facing resources. We also plan to implement systems and process changes designed to make our organization more agile and dynamic, streamline our organization and reallocate our resources to better align with our strategic goals. We expect the total program benefits associated with Project Summit, which we have expanded since our initial announcement, to be fully realized exiting 2021. However, we may not be able to realize the full amount of our expected improvements to Adjusted EBITDA in a timely manner, or at all, and the costs associated with Project Summit may exceed our expectations. In addition, this program may yield unintended consequences, such as attrition beyond our intended reduction in force, distraction of our employees and our anticipated systems and process changes may not work as expected and may create additional risks to our business. As a result, Project Summit could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.
Our future growth depends in part upon our ability to continue to effectively manage and execute on revenue management.
Over the past several years, our organic revenue growth has been positively impacted by our ability to effectively introduce, expand and monitor revenue management initially in our more established markets, and subsequently in our higher-growth markets. If we are not able to continue and effectively manage pricing, our results of operations could be adversely affected and we may not be able to execute on our strategic growth plan.
Changes in customer behavior with respect to destruction of records stored with us could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Over the past year, our destruction rates, as a percentage of records stored with us, have fluctuated. When destruction rates for records stored with us increase, it has a positive impact on our service revenues in the year of destruction but negatively impacts our longer term storage revenues, adversely affecting our financial condition and results of operations.
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We and our customers are subject to laws and governmental regulations relating to data privacy and cybersecurity and our customers’ demands in this area are increasing. This may cause us to incur significant expenses and non-compliance with such regulations and demands could harm our business.
We are subject to numerous U.S. federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations relating to data privacy and cybersecurity. These regulations are complex, change frequently and have tended to become more stringent over time. There are also a number of legislative proposals pending before the U.S. Congress, various state legislative bodies and foreign governments concerning data protection that could affect us. In addition, a growing number of U.S. and foreign legislative and regulatory bodies have adopted consumer notification and other requirements if consumer information is accessed by unauthorized persons and additional regulations regarding the use, access, accuracy and security of such information are possible. In the U.S., we are subject to various state laws which provide for disparate notification regimes. In addition, as a result of the continued emphasis on information security and instances in which personal information has been compromised, our customers are requesting that we take increasingly sophisticated measures to enhance security and comply with data privacy regulations, and that we assume higher liability under our contracts.
We devote substantial resources, and may in the future have to devote significant additional resources, to facilitate compliance with laws and regulations, our customers’ data privacy and security demands, and to investigate, defend or remedy actual or alleged violations or breaches. Any failure by us to comply with, or remedy any violations or breaches of, laws and regulations or customer requirements could result in the curtailment of certain of our operations, the imposition of fines and penalties, liability resulting from litigation, restrictions on our ability to carry on or expand our operations, significant costs and expenses and reputational harm. For example, we have experienced incidents in which customers’ information has been lost, and we have been informed by customers that some of the incidents involved the loss of personal information, resulting in monetary costs to those customers for which we have provided reimbursement. It is difficult to predict the impact on our business if we were subject to allegations of having violated existing laws or regulations.
Attacks on our internal IT systems could damage our reputation and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our reputation for providing secure information storage to customers is critical to the success of our business. Our reputation or brand, and specifically, the trust our customers place in us, could be negatively impacted in the event of perceived or actual failures by us to store information securely. Although we seek to prevent and detect attempts by unauthorized users to gain access to our IT systems, our IT and network infrastructure may be vulnerable to attacks by hackers or breaches due to employee error or other disruptions. Moreover, until we have migrated businesses we acquire onto our IT systems, we may face additional risks because of the continued use of predecessor IT systems. We have outsourced, and expect to continue to outsource, certain support services to third parties, which may subject our IT and other sensitive information to additional risk. In addition, the continuation of remote work arrangements or operating with limited personnel as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic could increase our cybersecurity risks. A successful breach of the security of our IT systems could lead to theft or misuse of our customers’ proprietary or confidential information and result in third party claims against us and reputational harm. Damage to our reputation could make us less competitive, which could negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Complying with fire and safety standards may result in significant expense.
As of December 31, 2020, we operated approximately 1,450 facilities worldwide, including more than 600 in the United States. Many of these facilities were built and outfitted by third parties and added to our real estate portfolio as part of acquisitions. Some of these facilities contain fire suppression and safety features that are different from our current specifications and current standards for new facilities, although we believe all of our facilities were constructed, in all material respects, in compliance with applicable laws and regulations in effect at the time of their construction or outfitting. In some instances, local authorities may take the position that our fire suppression and safety features in a particular facility are insufficient and require additional measures that may involve considerable expense to us. In addition, where we determine that the fire suppression and safety features of a facility require improvement, we will develop and implement a plan to remediate the issue, although implementation may require an extended period to complete. A significant aspect of the integration of businesses we have acquired or may acquire is the process of making investments in the acquired facilities to conform such facilities to our standards of operations. This process is complex and time-consuming. If additional fire safety and suppression measures beyond our current operating plan were required at a large number of our facilities, the expense required for compliance could negatively impact our business, financial condition or results of operations.
If we fail to meet our commitment to transition to more renewable and sustainable sources of energy, it may negatively impact our ability to attract and retain customers, employees and investors who focus on this commitment. Furthermore, changes to environmental laws and standards may increase the cost to operate some of our businesses. This could impact our results of operations and the trading of our stock.
We have made a commitment to prioritize sustainable energy practices, reduce our carbon footprint and transition to more renewable and sustainable sources of energy, particularly in our data center business. We have made progress towards reducing our carbon footprint, but if we are not successful in continuing this reduction or if our customers, employees and investors are not satisfied with our sustainability efforts, it may negatively impact our ability to attract and retain customers, employees and investors who focus on this commitment. This could negatively impact our results of operations and the trading of our stock.
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Furthermore, changes in environmental laws in any jurisdiction in which we operate could increase compliance costs or impose limitations on our operations. For example, our emergency generators at our data centers are subject to regulations and permit requirements governing air pollutants, and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning and fire suppression systems at some of our data centers and data management locations may include ozone-depleting substances that are subject to regulation. While environmental regulations do not normally impose material costs upon operations at our facilities, unexpected events, equipment malfunctions, human error and changes in law or regulations, among other factors, could result in unexpected costs, which could be material.
Failure to successfully integrate acquired businesses could negatively impact our balance sheet and results of operations.
Strategic acquisitions are an important element of our growth strategy and the success of any acquisition we make depends in part on our ability to integrate the acquired business and realize anticipated synergies. The process of integrating acquired businesses, particularly in new markets, may involve unforeseen difficulties and may require a disproportionate amount of our management’s attention and our financial and other resources.
For example, the success of our significant acquisitions depends, in large part, on our ability to realize the anticipated benefits, including cost savings from combining the acquired businesses with ours. To realize these anticipated benefits, we must be able to successfully integrate our business and the acquired businesses, and this integration is complex and time-consuming. We may encounter challenges in the integration process including the following:
•challenges and difficulties associated with managing our larger, more complex, company;
•conforming standards, controls, procedures and policies, business cultures and compensation and benefits structures between the two businesses;
•consolidating corporate and administrative infrastructures;
•coordinating geographically dispersed organizations;
•potential unknown liabilities and unforeseen expenses or delays associated with an acquisition; and
•our ability to deliver on our strategy going forward.
Further, our acquisitions subject us to liabilities (including tax liabilities) that may exist at an acquired company, some of which may be unknown. Although we and our advisors conduct due diligence on the operations of businesses we acquire, there can be no guarantee that we are aware of all liabilities of an acquired company. These liabilities, and any additional risks and uncertainties related to an acquired company not known to us or that we may deem immaterial or unlikely to occur at the time of the acquisition, could negatively impact our future business, financial condition and results of operations.
We can give no assurance that we will ultimately be able to effectively integrate and manage the operations of any acquired business or realize anticipated synergies. The failure to successfully integrate the cultures, operating systems, procedures and information technologies of an acquired business could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Our customer contracts may not always limit our liability and may sometimes contain terms that could lead to disputes in contract interpretation.
Our customer contracts typically contain provisions limiting our liability regarding the loss or destruction of, or damage to, records, information, or other items stored with us. Our liability for physical storage is often limited to a nominal fixed amount per item or unit of storage (such as per cubic foot) and our liability for digital solutions, data center, destruction and other services unrelated to records, information and other items stored with us is often limited to a percentage of annual revenue under the contract; however, some of our contracts with large customers and some of the contracts assumed in our acquisitions contain no such limits or contain higher limits. We can provide no assurance that our limitation of liability provisions will be enforceable in all instances or, if enforceable, that they would otherwise protect us from liability. In addition to provisions limiting our liability, our customer contracts generally include a schedule setting forth the majority of the customer-specific terms, including storage rental and related service pricing and service delivery terms. Our customers may dispute the interpretation of various provisions in their contracts. In the past, we have had relatively few disputes with our customers regarding the terms of their customer contracts, and most disputes to date have not been material, but we can provide no assurance that we will not have material disputes in the future. Moreover, as we expand our operations in digital solutions and storage of fine arts and other valuable items and respond to customer demands for higher limitation of liability as a result of regulatory changes, our exposure to contracts with higher or no limitations of liability and disputes with customers over the interpretation of their contracts may increase. Although we maintain a comprehensive insurance program, we can provide no assurance that we will be able to maintain insurance policies on acceptable terms or with high enough coverage amounts to cover losses to us in connection with customer contract disputes.
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International operations may pose unique risks.
As of December 31, 2020, we operated in 55 countries outside the United States. Our international operations account for a significant portion of our overall operations, and as part of our growth strategy, we expect its share to increase as we continue to acquire or invest in businesses in select foreign markets, including countries where we do not currently operate. International operations are subject to numerous risks, including:
•the impact of foreign government regulations and United States regulations that apply to us in foreign countries where we operate; in particular, we are subject to United States and foreign anti-corruption laws, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the United Kingdom Bribery Act, and, although we have implemented internal controls, policies and procedures and training to deter prohibited practices, our employees, partners, contractors or agents may violate or circumvent such policies and the law;
•the volatility of certain foreign economies in which we operate;
•political uncertainties and changes in the global political climate or other global events, such as the recent trade wars involving the U.S. or global pandemics, which may impose restrictions on, or create additional risk in relation to, global operations, which risks may become more pronounced as we consolidate operations across countries and need to move records and data across borders;
•unforeseen liabilities, particularly within acquired businesses;
•costs and difficulties associated with managing international operations of varying sizes and scale, including operations involving cross-border service offerings;
•our operations in the United Kingdom and the European Union may be adversely affected by the exit from the European Union (Brexit) by the United Kingdom, and the associated uncertainty;
•the risk that business partners upon whom we depend for technical assistance or management and acquisition expertise in some markets outside of the United States will not perform as expected;
•difficulties attracting and retaining local management and key employees to operate our business in certain countries; and
•cultural differences and differences in business practices and operating standards, as well as risks and challenges in expanding into countries where we have no prior operational experience.
Our use of joint ventures could expose us to additional risks and liabilities, including our reliance on joint venture partners that may have economic and business interests that are inconsistent with our business interests, our lack of sole decision-making authority, and disputes between us and our joint venture partners.
As part of our growth strategy, particularly in connection with our international and data center expansion, we currently, and may in the future, co-invest with third parties using joint ventures. These joint ventures can result in our holding non-controlling interests in, or having shared responsibility for managing the affairs of, a property or portfolio of properties, business, partnership, joint venture or other entity. As a result, in connection with our pursuit or entrance into any such joint venture, we may be subject to additional risks, including:
•our ability to sell our interests in the joint venture may be limited by the joint venture agreement;
•our ability to grow our storage volume when we rely on non-controlling interests in joint ventures for this growth;
•we may not have the right to exercise sole decision-making authority regarding the properties, business, partnership, joint venture or other entity;
•if our partners become bankrupt or fail to fund their share of required capital contributions, we may choose or be required to contribute such capital;
•our partners may have economic, tax or other interests or goals that are inconsistent with our interests or goals, and that could affect our ability to negotiate satisfactory joint venture terms, to operate the property or business or maintain our qualification for taxation as a REIT;
•our partners may be subject to different laws or regulations than us, or may be structured differently than us for tax purposes, which could create conflicts of interest and/or affect our ability to maintain our qualification for taxation as a REIT;
•our partners may take actions that are not within our control, which could require us to dispose of the joint venture asset, transfer it to a taxable REIT subsidiary (“TRS”) in order for us to maintain our qualification for taxation as a REIT, or purchase such partner’s interests or assets at an above-market price;
•we may agree to restrictions on our ability to expand our business in certain geographies independently or with other partners;
•disputes between us and our partners may result in litigation or arbitration that would increase our expenses and prevent our management from focusing their time and effort on our day-to-day business; and
•we may in certain circumstances be liable for the actions of our third-party partners or guarantee all or a portion of the joint venture’s liabilities, which may require us to pay an amount greater than our investment in the joint venture.
Each of these factors may result in returns on these investments being less than we expect or in losses, and our financial and operating results may be adversely affected.
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Significant costs or disruptions at our data centers could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Since 2017, we have substantially expanded our Global Data Center Business and we expect to continue to grow our Global Data Center Business. For example, we paid an aggregate cash purchase price of over $1.7 billion for data center businesses we acquired in 2017 and 2018 and incurred other costs associated with the development of real estate to support this business. Our Global Data Center Business depends on providing customers with highly reliable facilities, power infrastructure and operations solutions, and we will need to retain and hire qualified personnel to manage our data centers. Service interruptions or significant equipment damage could result in difficulty maintaining service level commitment obligations that we owe to certain of our customers. Service interruptions or equipment damage may occur at one or more of our data centers because of numerous factors, including: human error; equipment failure; physical, electronic and cyber security breaches; fire, hurricane, flood, earthquake and other natural disasters; water damage; fiber cuts; extreme temperatures; power loss or telecommunications failure; war, terrorism and any related conflicts or similar events worldwide; and sabotage and vandalism. We also purchase significant amounts of electricity from generating facilities and utility companies that are subject to environmental laws, regulations and permit requirements. These environmental requirements are subject to material change, which could result in increases in our electricity suppliers’ compliance costs that may be passed through to us. In addition, climate change may increase the likelihood that our data centers are affected by some of these factors.
While these risks could impact our overall business, they could have a more significant impact on our Global Data Center Business, where we have service level commitment obligations to certain of our customers. As a result, service interruptions or significant equipment damage at our data centers could result in difficulty maintaining service level commitments to these customers and potential claims related to such failures. Because our data centers are critical to many of our customers’ businesses, service interruptions or significant equipment damage at our data centers could also result in lost profits or other indirect or consequential damages to our customers.
Our Global Data Center Business is susceptible to regional costs of power, power shortages, planned or unplanned power outages and limitations on the availability of adequate power resources. We rely on third parties to provide power to our data centers. We are therefore subject to an inherent risk that such third parties may fail to deliver such power in adequate quantities or on a consistent basis. If the power delivered to our data centers is insufficient or interrupted, we would be required to provide power through the operation of our on-site generators, generally at a significantly higher operating cost. Additionally, global fluctuations in the price of power can increase the cost of energy, and we may be limited in our ability to, or may not always choose to, pass these increased costs on to our customers. We also rely on third party telecommunications carriers to provide internet connectivity to our customers. These carriers may elect not to offer or to restrict their services within our data centers or may elect to discontinue such services. Furthermore, carriers may face business difficulties, which could affect their ability to provide telecommunications services or the quality of such services. If connectivity is interrupted or terminated, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected. Events such as these may also impact our reputation as a data center provider which could adversely affect our results of operations.
Our data center expansion requires a significant amount of capital and, if we are not able to raise that capital on advantageous terms, our ability to fund our data center expansion may be limited.
Our data center expansion requires significant capital commitments. In addition, we may be required to commit significant operational and financial resources in connection with the organic growth of our Global Data Center Business, generally 12 to 18 months in advance of securing customer contracts, and we may not have enough customer demand to support these data centers when they are built. There can be no assurance we will have sufficient customer demand to support these data centers or data centers we have acquired or that we will not be adversely affected by the risks noted above, which could make it difficult for us to realize expected returns on our investments, if any.
We have operations in numerous foreign countries and, as a result, are subject to foreign exchange translation risk, which could have an adverse effect on our financial results.
We conduct business operations in numerous foreign countries through our foreign subsidiaries or affiliates, which primarily transact in their respective local currencies. Those local currencies are translated into United States dollars at the applicable exchange rates for inclusion in our consolidated financial statements. The results of operations of, and certain of our debt balances (including intercompany debt balances) associated with, our international businesses are exposed to foreign exchange rate fluctuations. Upon translation, operating results may differ materially from expectations, and significant shifts in foreign currencies can impact our short-term results, as well as our long-term forecasts and targets.
Failure to comply with certain regulatory and contractual requirements under our United States Government contracts could adversely affect our revenues, operating results and financial position and reputation.
Having the United States Government as a customer subjects us to certain regulatory and contractual requirements. Failure to comply with these requirements could subject us to investigations, price reductions, up to treble damages, and civil penalties. Noncompliance with certain regulatory and contractual requirements could also result in us being suspended or debarred from future United States Government contracting. We may also face private derivative securities claims because of adverse government actions. Any of these outcomes could have a material adverse effect on our revenues, operating results, financial position and reputation.
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We may be subject to certain costs and potential liabilities associated with the real estate required for our business.
Because our business is heavily dependent on real estate, we face special risks attributable to the real estate we own or lease. Such risks include:
•acquisition and occupancy costs that make it difficult to meet anticipated margins and difficulty locating suitable facilities due to a relatively small number of available buildings having the desired characteristics in some real estate markets;
•uninsured losses or damage to our storage facilities due to an inability to obtain full coverage on a cost-effective basis for some casualties, such as fires, hurricanes and earthquakes, or any coverage for certain losses, such as losses from riots or terrorist activities;
•inability to use our real estate holdings effectively and costs associated with vacating or consolidating facilities if the demand for physical storage were to diminish; and
•liability under environmental laws for the costs of investigation and cleanup of contaminated real estate owned or leased by us, whether or not (i) we know of, or were responsible for, the contamination, or (ii) the contamination occurred while we owned or leased the property.
Some of our current and formerly owned or leased properties were previously used by entities other than us for industrial or other purposes, or were affected by waste generated from nearby properties, that involved the use, storage, generation and/or disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, including petroleum products. In some instances this prior use involved the operation of underground storage tanks or the presence of asbestos-containing materials. Where we are aware of environmental conditions that require remediation, we undertake appropriate activity, in accordance with all legal requirements. Although we have from time to time conducted limited environmental investigations and remedial activities at some of our former and current facilities, we have not undertaken an environmental review of all of our properties, including those we have acquired. We therefore may be potentially liable for environmental costs like those discussed above and may be unable to sell, rent, mortgage or use contaminated real estate owned or leased by us. Environmental conditions for which we might be liable may also exist at properties that we may acquire in the future. In addition, future regulatory action and environmental laws may impose costs for environmental compliance that do not exist today.
Unexpected events, including those resulting from climate change, could disrupt our operations and adversely affect our reputation and results of operations.
Unexpected events, including fires or explosions at our facilities, war or terrorist activities, natural disasters such as earthquakes and wildfires, unplanned power outages, supply disruptions, failure of equipment or systems, and severe weather events, such as droughts, heat waves, hurricanes, and flooding, could adversely affect our reputation and results of operations through physical damage to our facilities and equipment and through physical damage to, or disruption of, local infrastructure. During the past several years we have seen an increase in the frequency and intensity of severe weather events and we expect this trend to continue due to climate change. Some of our key facilities worldwide are vulnerable to severe weather events, and global weather pattern changes may also pose long-term risks of physical impacts to our business. Our customers rely on us to securely store and timely retrieve their critical information, and, while we maintain disaster recovery and business continuity plans that would be implemented these situations, these unexpected events could result in customer service disruption, physical damage to one or more key operating facilities and the information stored in those facilities, the temporary closure of one or more key operating facilities or the temporary disruption of information systems, each of which could negatively impact our reputation and results of operations. In addition, these unexpected events could negatively impact our reputation if such events result in adverse publicity, governmental investigations or litigation or if customers do not otherwise perceive our response to be adequate.
Fluctuations in commodity prices may affect our operating revenues and results of operations.
Our operating revenues and results of operations are impacted by significant changes in commodity prices. In particular, our secure shredding operations generate revenue from the sale of shredded paper for recycling. Further, significant declines in the cost of paper may continue to negatively impact our revenues and results of operations, and increases in other commodity prices, including steel, may negatively impact our results of operations.
Failure to manage and adequately implement our new IT systems could negatively affect our business.
We rely on IT infrastructure, including hardware, networks, software, people and processes, to provide information to support assessments and conclusions about our operating performance. We are in the process of upgrading a number of our IT systems, including consolidating our existing billing systems, and we face risks relating to these transitions. For example, we may incur greater costs than we anticipate training our personnel on the new systems, we may experience service disruptions or errors in accurately capturing data or retaining our records, and we may be delayed in meeting our various reporting obligations. There can be no assurance that we will manage our IT systems and implement these new systems as planned or that we will do so without disruptions to our operations, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
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RISKS RELATED TO OUR INDEBTEDNESS
Our substantial indebtedness could adversely affect our financial health and prevent us from fulfilling our obligations under our various debt instruments.
We have a significant amount of indebtedness. As of December 31, 2020, our total long-term debt was approximately $8.7 billion, stockholders equity was approximately $1.1 billion and we had cash and cash equivalents (including restricted cash) of approximately $205.1 million. Our substantial indebtedness could have important consequences to our current and potential investors. These risks include:
•inability to satisfy our obligations with respect to our various debt instruments;
•inability to make borrowings to fund future working capital, capital expenditures and strategic opportunities, including acquisitions, further organic development of our Global Data Center Business and expansions into adjacent businesses, and other general corporate requirements, including possible required repurchases, redemptions or prepayments of our various indebtedness;
•limits on our distributions to stockholders; in this regard if these limits prevented us from satisfying our REIT distribution requirements, we could fail to remain qualified for taxation as a REIT or, if these limits do not jeopardize our qualification for taxation as a REIT but do nevertheless prevent us from distributing 100% of our REIT taxable income, we will be subject to federal corporate income tax, and potentially a nondeductible excise tax, on the retained amounts;
•limits on future borrowings under our existing or future credit arrangements, which could affect our ability to pay our indebtedness or to fund our other liquidity needs;
•inability to generate sufficient funds to cover required interest payments;
•restrictions on our ability to refinance our indebtedness on commercially reasonable terms;
•limits on our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the information management services industry; and
•inability to adjust to adverse economic conditions that could place us at a disadvantage to our competitors with less debt and who, therefore, may be able to take advantage of opportunities that our indebtedness prevents us from pursuing.
We are subject to risks associated with debt financing, including the risk that our cash flow could be insufficient to meet required payments on our debt. In particular, if as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic our revenues, cash flows and/or Adjusted EBITDA continue to decline or we incur additional indebtedness, we may be unable to make required payments on our debt or to satisfy the financial and other covenants contained in our Credit Agreement (as defined in Note 6 to Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report) and our indentures. In addition, the expected elimination of the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) may adversely affect interest expense related to borrowings under certain of our credit arrangements and interest rate swaps, and could disrupt financial markets generally, which could potentially negatively impact our financial condition.
Despite our current indebtedness levels, we may still be able to incur substantially more debt. The terms of our indentures generally do not cap the maximum amount of additional funds that may be borrowed under our Credit Agreement and possible future credit arrangements.
Restrictive debt covenants may limit our ability to pursue our growth strategy.
Our Credit Agreement and our indentures contain covenants restricting or limiting our ability to, among other things:
•incur additional indebtedness;
•pay dividends or make other restricted payments;
•make asset dispositions;
•create or permit liens;
•sell, transfer or exchange assets;
•guarantee certain indebtedness;
•make acquisitions and other investments; and
•enter into partnerships and joint ventures.
These restrictions and our long-term commitment to reduce our leverage ratio may adversely affect our ability to pursue our acquisition and other growth strategies.
|IRON MOUNTAIN 2020 FORM 10-K|
We may not have the ability to raise the funds necessary to finance the repurchase of outstanding senior notes upon a change of control event as required by our indentures.
Upon the occurrence of a “change of control,” as defined in our indentures, we will be required to offer to repurchase all of our outstanding senior notes. However, it is possible that we will not have sufficient funds at the time of a change of control to make the required repurchase of any outstanding notes or that restrictions in our Credit Agreement will not allow such repurchases. Certain important corporate events, however, such as leveraged recapitalizations that would increase the level of our indebtedness, would not constitute a “change of control” under our indentures.
Iron Mountain Incorporated (“IMI”) is a holding company, and, therefore, its ability to make payments on its various debt obligations depends in large part on the operations of its subsidiaries.
IMI is a holding company; substantially all of its assets consist of the equity in its subsidiaries, and substantially all of its operations are conducted by its direct and indirect consolidated subsidiaries. As a result, its ability to make payments on its debt obligations will be dependent upon the receipt of sufficient funds from its subsidiaries, whose ability to distribute funds may be limited by local capital requirements, joint venture structures and other applicable restrictions. However, our various debt obligations are guaranteed, on a joint and several and full and unconditional basis, by IMI’s U.S. subsidiaries that represent the substantial majority of its U.S. operations.
RISKS RELATED TO OUR TAXATION AS A REIT
If we fail to remain qualified for taxation as a REIT, we will be subject to tax at corporate income tax rates and will not be able to deduct distributions to stockholders when computing our taxable income.
We have elected to be taxed as a REIT since our 2014 taxable year. We believe that our organization and method of operation comply with the rules and regulations promulgated under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), such that we will continue to qualify for taxation as a REIT. However, we can provide no assurance that we will remain qualified for taxation as a REIT. If we fail to remain qualified for taxation as a REIT, we will be taxed at corporate income tax rates unless certain relief provisions apply.
Qualification for taxation as a REIT involves the application of highly technical and complex provisions of the Code to our operations as well as various factual determinations concerning matters and circumstances not entirely within our control. There are limited judicial or administrative interpretations of applicable REIT provisions of the Code.
If, in any taxable year, we fail to remain qualified for taxation as a REIT and are not entitled to relief under the Code:
•we will not be allowed a deduction for distributions to stockholders in computing our taxable income;
•we will be subject to federal and state income tax on our taxable income at regular corporate income tax rates; and
•we would not be eligible to elect REIT status again until the fifth taxable year that begins after the first year for which we failed to qualify for taxation as a REIT.
Any such corporate tax liability could be substantial and would reduce the amount of cash available for other purposes. If we fail to remain qualified for taxation as a REIT, we may need to borrow additional funds or liquidate some investments to pay any additional tax liability. Accordingly, funds available for investment and distributions to stockholders could be reduced.
As a REIT, failure to make required distributions would subject us to federal corporate income tax.
We expect to continue paying regular quarterly distributions; however, the amount, timing and form of our regular quarterly distributions will be determined, and will be subject to adjustment, by our board of directors. To remain qualified for taxation as a REIT, we are generally required to distribute at least 90% of our REIT taxable income (determined without regard to the dividends paid deduction and excluding net capital gain) each year, or in limited circumstances, the following year, to our stockholders. Generally, we expect to distribute all or substantially all of our REIT taxable income. If our cash available for distribution falls short of our estimates, we may be unable to maintain distributions that approximate our REIT taxable income and may fail to remain qualified for taxation as a REIT. In addition, our cash flows from operations may be insufficient to fund required distributions as a result of differences in timing between the actual receipt of income and the payment of expenses and the recognition of income and expenses for federal income tax purposes, or the effect of nondeductible expenditures.
To the extent that we satisfy the 90% distribution requirement but distribute less than 100% of our REIT taxable income, we will be subject to federal corporate income tax on our undistributed taxable income. In addition, we will be subject to a 4% nondeductible excise tax on our undistributed taxable income if the actual amount that we distribute to our stockholders for a calendar year is less than the minimum amount specified under the Code.
|IRON MOUNTAIN 2020 FORM 10-K|
We may be required to borrow funds, sell assets or raise equity to satisfy our REIT distribution requirements, to comply with asset ownership tests or to fund capital expenditures, future growth and expansion initiatives.
In order to satisfy our REIT distribution requirements and maintain our qualification and taxation as a REIT, or to fund capital expenditures, future growth and expansion initiatives, we may need to borrow funds, sell assets or raise equity, even if our financial condition or the then-prevailing market conditions are not favorable for these borrowings, sales or offerings. Furthermore, the REIT distribution requirements and our commitment to investors on dividend growth may result in increasing our financing needs to fund capital expenditures, future growth and expansion initiatives, which would increase our indebtedness. An increase in our outstanding debt could lead to a downgrade of our credit ratings, which could negatively impact our ability to access credit markets. Further, certain of our current debt instruments limit the amount of indebtedness we and our subsidiaries may incur. Additional financing, therefore, may be unavailable, more expensive or restricted by the terms of our outstanding indebtedness. For a discussion of risks related to our substantial level of indebtedness, see “Risks Related to Our Indebtedness.”
Complying with REIT requirements may limit our flexibility, cause us to forgo otherwise attractive opportunities that we would otherwise pursue to execute our growth strategy, or otherwise reduce our income and amounts available for distribution to our stockholders.
To remain qualified for taxation as a REIT, we must satisfy tests concerning, among other things, the sources of our income, the nature and diversification of our assets and the amounts we distribute to our stockholders. Thus, compliance with these tests may require us to refrain from certain activities and may hinder our ability to make certain attractive investments, including the purchase of non-REIT qualifying operations or assets, the expansion of non-real estate activities, and investments in the businesses to be conducted by our TRSs, and to that extent limit our opportunities and our flexibility to change our business strategy. This may restrict our ability to enter into joint ventures or acquire minority interests of companies. Furthermore, acquisition opportunities in domestic and international markets may be adversely affected if we need or require the target company to comply with some REIT requirements prior to closing.
We conduct a significant portion of our business activities, including our information management services businesses and several of our international operations, through domestic and foreign TRSs. Under the Code, no more than 25% of the value of the assets of a REIT may be represented by securities of one or more TRSs and other nonqualifying assets. In addition, no more than 20% of the value of the assets of a REIT may be represented by securities of one or more TRSs within the overall 25% nonqualifying assets limitation. These limitations may affect our ability to make additional investments in non-REIT qualifying operations or assets or in international operations through TRSs.
If we fail to comply with specified asset ownership tests applicable to REITs as measured at the end of any calendar quarter, we generally must correct such failure within 30 days after the end of the applicable calendar quarter or qualify for statutory relief provisions to avoid losing our qualification for taxation as a REIT. As a result, we may be required to liquidate assets or to forgo our pursuit of otherwise attractive investments. These actions may reduce our income and amounts available for distribution to our stockholders.
As a REIT, we are limited in our ability to fund distribution payments using cash generated through our TRSs.
Our ability to receive distributions from our TRSs is limited by the rules with which we must comply to maintain our qualification for taxation as a REIT. In particular, at least 75% of our gross income for each taxable year as a REIT must be derived from real estate, which generally includes gross income from providing customers with secure storage space or colocation or wholesale data center space. Consequently, no more than 25% of our gross income may consist of dividend income from our TRSs and other nonqualifying types of income. Thus, our ability to receive distributions from our TRSs may be limited, which may impact our ability to fund distributions to our stockholders using cash flows from our TRSs. Specifically, if our TRSs become highly profitable, we might become limited in our ability to receive net income from our TRSs in an amount required to fund distributions to our stockholders commensurate with that profitability.
In addition, a significant amount of our income and cash flows from our TRSs is generated from our international operations. In many cases, there are local withholding taxes and currency controls that may impact our ability or willingness to repatriate funds to the United States to help satisfy REIT distribution requirements.
Our extensive use of TRSs, including for certain of our international operations, may cause us to fail to remain qualified for taxation as a REIT.
Our operations include an extensive use of TRSs. The net income of our TRSs is not required to be distributed to us, and income that is not distributed to us generally is not subject to the REIT income distribution requirement. However, there may be limitations on our ability to accumulate earnings in our TRSs and the accumulation or reinvestment of significant earnings in our TRSs could result in adverse tax treatment. In particular, if the accumulation of cash in our TRSs causes (1) the fair market value of our securities in our TRSs to exceed 20% of the fair market value of our assets or (2) the fair market value of our securities in our TRSs and other nonqualifying assets to exceed 25% of the fair market value of our assets, then we will fail to remain qualified for taxation as a REIT. Further, a substantial portion of our operations are conducted overseas, and a material change in foreign currency rates could also affect the value of our foreign holdings in our TRSs, negatively impacting our ability to remain qualified for taxation as a REIT.
|IRON MOUNTAIN 2020 FORM 10-K|
Even if we remain qualified for taxation as a REIT, some of our business activities are subject to corporate level income tax and foreign taxes, which will continue to reduce our cash flows, and we will have potential deferred and contingent tax liabilities.
Even if we remain qualified for taxation as a REIT, we may be subject to some federal, state, local and foreign taxes, including taxes on any undistributed income, and state, local or foreign income, franchise, property and transfer taxes. In addition, we could in certain circumstances be required to pay an excise or penalty tax, which could be significant in amount, in order to utilize one or more relief provisions under the Code to maintain our qualification for taxation as a REIT.
A portion of our business is conducted through wholly-owned TRSs because certain of our business activities could generate nonqualifying REIT income as currently structured and operated. The income of our domestic TRSs will continue to be subject to federal and state corporate income taxes. In addition, our international assets and operations will continue to be subject to taxation in the foreign jurisdictions where those assets are held or those operations are conducted. Any of these taxes would decrease our earnings and our available cash.
We will also be subject to a federal corporate level income tax at the highest regular corporate income tax rate (currently 21%) on gain recognized from a sale of a REIT asset where our basis in the asset is determined by reference to the basis of the asset in the hands of a C corporation (such as an asset that we hold in one of our qualified REIT subsidiaries (“QRSs”) following the liquidation or other conversion of a former TRS). This 21% tax is generally applicable to any disposition of such an asset during the five-year period after the date we first owned the asset as a REIT asset to the extent of the built-in-gain based on the fair market value of such asset on the date we first held the asset as a REIT asset. In addition, any depreciation recapture income that we recognize because of accounting method changes that we make in connection with our acquisition activities will be fully subject to this 21% tax.
Complying with REIT requirements may limit our ability to hedge effectively and increase the cost of our hedging and may cause us to incur tax liabilities.
The REIT provisions of the Code limit our ability to hedge assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses. Generally, income from hedging transactions that we enter into to manage risk of interest rate changes with respect to borrowings made or to be made by us to acquire or carry real estate assets and income from certain currency hedging transactions related to our non- United States operations, as well as income from qualifying counteracting hedges, do not constitute “gross income” for purposes of the REIT gross income tests. To the extent that we enter into other types of hedging transactions, the income from those transactions is likely to be treated as nonqualifying income for purposes of the REIT gross income tests. As a result of these rules, we may need to limit our use of advantageous hedging techniques or implement those hedges through our TRSs. This could increase the cost of our hedging activities because our TRSs would be subject to tax on income or gains resulting from hedges entered into by them and may expose us to greater risks associated with changes in interest rates or exchange rates than we would otherwise want to bear. In addition, hedging losses in any of our TRSs generally will not provide any tax benefit, except for being carried forward for possible use against future income or gain in the TRSs.
Distributions payable by REITs generally do not qualify for preferential tax rates.
Dividends payable by United States corporations to noncorporate stockholders, such as individuals, trusts and estates, are generally eligible for reduced United States federal income tax rates applicable to “qualified dividends.” Distributions paid by REITs generally are not treated as “qualified dividends” under the Code, and the reduced rates applicable to such dividends do not generally apply. However, for tax years beginning before 2026, REIT dividends paid to noncorporate stockholders are generally taxed at an effective tax rate lower than applicable ordinary income tax rates due to the availability of a deduction under the Code for specified forms of income from passthrough entities. More favorable rates will nevertheless continue to apply to regular corporate “qualified” dividends, which may cause some investors to perceive that an investment in a REIT is less attractive than an investment in a non-REIT entity that pays dividends, thereby reducing the demand and market price of our common stock.
|IRON MOUNTAIN 2020 FORM 10-K|
The ownership and transfer restrictions contained in our certificate of incorporation may not protect our qualification for taxation as a REIT, could have unintended antitakeover effects and may prevent our stockholders from receiving a takeover premium.
In order for us to remain qualified for taxation as a REIT, no more than 50% of the value of outstanding shares of our capital stock may be owned, beneficially or constructively, by five or fewer individuals at any time during the last half of each taxable year. In addition, rents from “affiliated tenants” will not qualify as qualifying REIT income if we own 10% or more by vote or value of the customer, whether directly or after application of attribution rules under the Code. Subject to certain exceptions, our certificate of incorporation prohibits any stockholder from owning, beneficially or constructively, more than (i) 9.8% in value of the outstanding shares of all classes or series of our capital stock or (ii) 9.8% in value or number, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of any class or series of our capital stock. We refer to these restrictions collectively as the “ownership limits” and we included them in our certificate of incorporation to facilitate our compliance with REIT tax rules. The constructive ownership rules under the Code are complex and may cause the outstanding stock owned by a group of related individuals or entities to be deemed to be constructively owned by one individual or entity. As a result, the acquisition of less than 9.8% of our outstanding common stock (or the outstanding shares of any class or series of our capital stock) by an individual or entity could cause that individual or entity or another individual or entity to own constructively in excess of the relevant ownership limits. Any attempt to own or transfer shares of our common stock or of any of our other capital stock in violation of these restrictions may result in the shares being automatically transferred to a charitable trust or may be void. Even though our certificate of incorporation contains the ownership limits, there can be no assurance that these provisions will be effective to prevent our qualification for taxation as a REIT from being jeopardized, including under the affiliated tenant rule. Furthermore, there can be no assurance that we will be able to monitor and enforce the ownership limits. If the restrictions in our certificate of incorporation are not effective and, as a result, we fail to satisfy the REIT tax rules described above, then absent an applicable relief provision, we will fail to remain qualified for taxation as a REIT.
In addition, the ownership and transfer restrictions could delay, defer or prevent a transaction or a change in control that might involve a premium price for our stock or otherwise be in the best interest of our stockholders. As a result, the overall effect of the ownership and transfer restrictions may be to render more difficult or discourage any attempt to acquire us, even if such acquisition may be favorable to the interests of our stockholders.
Legislative or other actions affecting REITs could have a negative effect on us or our stockholders.
At any time, the federal or state income tax laws governing REITs, the administrative interpretations of those laws, or local laws impacting our REIT structure for our international operations may be amended. Federal, state and local tax laws are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process, the IRS, the United States Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) and state and local taxing authorities. Changes to the tax laws, regulations and administrative interpretations or local laws governing our international operations, which may have retroactive application, could adversely affect us. In addition, some of these changes could have a more significant impact on us as compared to other REITs due to the nature of our business and our substantial use of TRSs, particularly non-United States TRSs or how we have structured our operations outside the United States to comply with our REIT structure. We cannot predict with certainty whether, when, in what forms, or with what effective dates, the tax laws, regulations, administrative interpretations or local laws applicable to us may be changed or if such laws would impact our ability to qualify for taxation as a REIT or the costs for doing so.
GENERAL RISK FACTORS
Our cash distributions are not guaranteed and may fluctuate.
As a REIT, we are generally required to distribute at least 90% of our REIT taxable income to our stockholders. Furthermore, we are committed to growing our dividends, and have stated this publicly.
Our board of directors, in its sole discretion, will determine, on a quarterly basis, the amount of cash to be distributed to our stockholders based on a number of factors including, but not limited to, our results of operations, cash flow and capital requirements, economic conditions, tax considerations, borrowing capacity and other factors, including debt covenant restrictions that may impose limitations on cash payments, future acquisitions and divestitures, any stock repurchase program and general market demand for our space and related services. Consequently, our distribution levels may fluctuate and we may not be able to meet our public commitments with respect to dividend growth.
|IRON MOUNTAIN 2020 FORM 10-K|
Our business could be adversely impacted if there are deficiencies in our disclosure controls and procedures or internal control over financial reporting.
The design and effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting may not prevent all errors, misstatements or misrepresentations. While management will continue to review the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting, there can be no guarantee that our internal control over financial reporting will be effective in accomplishing all control objectives all of the time. Moreover, the continuation of remote work arrangements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic could negatively impact our internal controls over financial reporting. Furthermore, our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting with respect to entities that we do not control or manage may be substantially more limited than those we maintain with respect to the subsidiaries that we have controlled or managed over the course of time. Deficiencies, including any material weakness, in our internal control over financial reporting which may occur in the future could result in misstatements of our results of operations, restatements of our financial statements, a decline in our stock price, or otherwise materially adversely affect our business, reputation, results of operations, financial condition or liquidity.
We face competition for customers.
We compete with multiple businesses in all geographic areas where we operate; our current or potential customers may choose to use those competitors instead of us. In addition, if we are successful in winning customers from competitors, the process of moving their stored records into our facilities is often costly and time consuming. We also compete, in some of our business lines, with our current and potential customers’ internal storage and information management services capabilities and their cloud-based alternatives. These organizations may not begin or continue to use us for their future storage and information management service needs.
The performance of our businesses relies on our ability to attract, develop, and retain talented personnel, while controlling our labor costs.
We are highly dependent on skilled and qualified personnel to operate our businesses. The failure to attract and retain qualified employees or to effectively control our labor costs could negatively affect our competitive position and operating results. Our ability to control labor costs and attract qualified personnel is subject to numerous external factors, including prevailing wages, labor shortages, the impact of legislation or regulations governing wages and hours, labor relations, immigration, healthcare and other benefits, other employment-related costs and the hiring practices of our competitors.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS.
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES.
As of December 31, 2020, we conducted operations through 1,167 leased facilities and 281 owned facilities. Our facilities are divided among our reportable operating segments as follows: Global RIM Business (1,374), Global Data Center Business (15) and Corporate and Other Business (59). These facilities contain a total of approximately 92.7 million square feet of space. A breakdown of owned and leased facilities by country (and by state within the United States) is listed below:
|IRON MOUNTAIN 2020 FORM 10-K|
|COUNTRY/STATE||NUMBER||SQUARE FEET||NUMBER||SQUARE FEET||NUMBER||SQUARE FEET|
|United States (Including Puerto Rico)|
|Alabama||3 ||312,473 ||1 ||12,621 ||4 ||325,094 |
|Arizona||8 ||496,448 ||6 ||1,207,281 ||14 ||1,703,729 |
|Arkansas||2 ||63,604 ||— ||— ||2 ||63,604 |
|California||66 ||5,606,499 ||10 ||958,856 ||76 ||6,565,355 |
|Colorado||10 ||499,546 ||4 ||484,490 ||14 ||984,036 |
|Connecticut||4 ||199,114 ||6 ||665,013 ||10 ||864,127 |
|Delaware||4 ||309,067 ||1 ||120,921 ||5 ||429,988 |
|District of Columbia||1 ||1,670 ||— ||— ||1 ||1,670 |
|Florida||33 ||2,356,117 ||5 ||263,930 ||38 ||2,620,047 |
|Georgia||10 ||826,606 ||5 ||265,049 ||15 ||1,091,655 |
|Idaho||2 ||105,021 ||— ||— ||2 ||105,021 |
|Illinois||15 ||1,213,808 ||7 ||1,309,975 ||22 ||2,523,783 |
|Indiana||6 ||344,516 ||— ||— |