Ending months of suspense and speculation, the board members of HCA convene in New York City and agree to a leveraged buyout offer (LBO) of $5.1 billion, sending the company back into the private sector.

After former execs from Republic Health make a run at purchasing HCA in 1987, Tommy Frist responds by reducing the size of HCA’s corporate staff by 25 percent and divesting of 104 smaller hospitals. These rural hospitals spin off in the form of HealthTrust.

Off the market, leadership turns the company into a lean competitor with 74 acute-care and 54 psychiatric hospitals. When it reemerges in less than three years, insiders’ stakes have increased in value by 800 percent.