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HCA owners' big payout: $1.75 billion

Wall Street Journal, February 1, 2010

HCA Inc., the nation's largest hospital operator, will pay its private-equity owners a $1.75 billion dividend, believed to be among the biggest ever, after reporting stellar 2009 financial results, the Wall Street Journal reports. By improving HCA's performance and cash flow, the owners have paid down its debt. At the closing of the buyout, HCA's leverage was roughly 6.4 times its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. At the end of 2009, it stood at 4.7 times Ebitda, and the number will rise to 5.0 times after the dividend, which will be paid out of HCA's credit facilities and cash on hand, reports the Journal.