March 1994: Cape Coral (Fla.) Hospital and Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, Fla., unveil merger plan.
Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., Nashville, Tenn., makes purchase offer.
Cape Coral agrees to sell to Lee Memorial.
April 1994: Federal Trade Commission challenges proposed merger.
May 1994: Financial problems uncovered at Cape Coral.
June 1994: Cape Coral fires top three executives as ongoing investigation uncovers more than $2 million in unaccounted-for money. Two-hundred employees laid off to stem rising tide of red ink.
August 1994: Lee Memorial withdraws merger offer.
December 1994: Cape Coral lays off another 132 workers.
January 1995: Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates agrees to acquire Cape Coral.
August 1995: Internal Revenue Service fines Cape Coral $10 million for misspending tax-exempt bond proceeds.
November 1995: HMA backs out of deal.
December 1995: Lee Memorial and Columbia make separate offers to buy Cape Coral.
April 1996: Cape Coral agrees to negotiate with Lee Memorial for two months.
May 1996: Negotiating period expires with Lee Memorial. Cape Coral reviews new Columbia bid.
June 1996: Cape Coral decides to sell to Lee Memorial after all.
Source: News reports