A four-bagger for VMware

Contact: Brenon Daly

If the virtualization thing doesn’t work out for VMware, the company could always spin off a hedge fund. At least that’s what we’ve been thinking as Verizon Communications’ purchase of Terremark Worldwide appears set to close very soon. When the deal does wrap, VMware will walk away with a tidy windfall from a savvy bet that the virtualization kingpin made on the hosting provider back in mid-2009.

Recall that in May 2009, VMware picked up a 5% stake in Terremark for $20m, paying just $5 for each of the four million shares. According to terms, that block of equity will be worth $76m when it comes time to cash out to Verizon, which is paying $19 for each Terremark share. A four-bagger in just a year and a half is a return that might even make John Paulson envious. The gain on VMware’s investment in Terremark even outpaces the return of its own highflying stock, which has ‘only’ tripled in that time.