VMware IPO price set at $29 per share

VMware set the price for its Tuesday initial public offering at $29 per share, the top end of the range of starting prices that the software virtualization company had forecast.

The target price was an indicator of the eagerness with which the stock market is awaiting the start of VMware trading. The company had already boosted its target price range last Thursday from its initial forecast in June.

VMware gave the price in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Monday. Placing the planned 33 million shares of VMware on the market at $29 per share would raise a total of $957 million, minus fees to the underwriters and other expenses.

EMC, which acquired VMware in 2004 for $635 million, announced in February its plan to sell off 10 percent of VMware in an IPO. In June, VMware estimated the IPO price range at $23-$25 per share, but it raised that last week to between $27 and $29.

VMware provides virtualization software, which creates multiple logical servers in one physical server, increasing the utilization rate of servers. Virtualization is also being applied to storage, networks and desktop computers.

VMware says it plans to use the proceeds to offer stock options to employees, retire debt and make other investments in the company. The stock will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “VMW.”

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