Top ten deals

The biggest private equity deals of all time.

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- The first takeover of a public company by a private equity firm was in 1979, when KKR bought machine-tool maker Houdaille for $355 million. But nine of the 10 biggest deals ever are from the last three years.

(Values include assumed debt)

1. $38.9 billion - Equity Office Properties Trust

Acquirer: Blackstone

Year: 2007

Comments: A fierce bidding war drove up the price by $3 billion.

2. $32.7 billion - Hospital Corp. of America

Acquirers: Bain, KKR, Merrill Lynch

Year: 2006

Comments: The buyers, including the Frist family, paid only $5.5 billion in equity. The rest was debt.

3. $31.1 billion - RJR Nabisco

Acquirer: KKR

Year: 1989

Comments: It's the Sgt. Pepper's of PE: oft imitated but never topped_ when adjusted for inflation.

4. $27.4 billion - Harrah's Entertainment*

Acquirers: Apollo, Texas Pacific

Year: 2006

Comments: The club's $90-per-share offer was a huge 35% premium over the casino's closing stock price.

5. $25.7 billion - Clear Channel Communications*

Acquirers: Bain, Thomas H. Lee

Year: 2006

Comments: The Mays family's stake is valued at over $1 billion.

6. $21.6 billion - Kinder Morgan*

Acquirers: Carlyle, Riverstone, Goldman Sachs

Year: 2006

Comments: Goldman did the deal and earned fees from the buyers and seller.

7. $17.6 billion - Freescale Semiconductor

Acquirers: Blackstone, Carlyle, Permira, Texas Pacific

Year: 2006

Comments: U.K.-based Permira established a beachhead in U.S. megadeals.

8. $17.4 billion - Albertson's

Acquirer: Cerberus

Year 2006

Comments: Joining with CVS and SuperValu, Cerberus spurred management to go private.

9. $15.0 billion - Hertz

Acquirers: Carlyle, Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Merrill Lynch

Year: 2005

Comments: Bought from Ford, then sold to the public a year later.

10. $13.9 billion - TDC

Acquirers: Apax, Blackstone, KKR, Permira, Providence

Year: 2005

Comments: The buyout of the Danish telecom is Europe's biggest private-equity deal so far.

* Deal announced, not closed. Top of page