As VMware Goes Public, Citrix May Become A Competitor


Server virtualization software leader VMware debuted on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday amid a flurry of speculation that Citrix may acquire one of VMware's primary competitors, XenSource, which this week unveiled a new version of its software that brings it closer to VMware in terms of functionality.

Shares of VMware, in one of strongest IPOs in years, opened at $52 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, up 72 percent from its IPO price of $29.

But despite the strong opening, and the immediate jump to $55 after the market opened, the stock took its time to chart its course, falling to a low of $48 per share early in trading before gradually heading north to between $53 and $55 late in the trading day.

The opening price meant that VMware raised nearly $1 billion for its IPO, giving the company an assumed market capitalization of about $19 billion.

The market capitalization figure stems from the fact that storage giant EMC said in February that it will sell a 10-percent stake in VMware through an IPO in a move to help VMware employees realize more value from the company independent of what they receive as part of the overall EMC organization.

The VMware assumed market capitalization is nearly half that of VMware's parent company, EMC.

EMC acquired VMware in December of 2003 for $635 million.

Shares of EMC, which rose from about $13 per share in mid-March to open at $19.05 on Tuesday morning, fell to about $18.50 before recovering to about $18.75 at midday.

Reports of a potential acquisition of Palo Alto, Calif.-based XenSource stem from a report put out last Thursday by equity analyst Credit Suisse which said that Citrix may be interested in acquiring what it called "core virtualization infrastructure and management tools" to better address the next-generation data center.

NEXT: What puts XenSource in the running