By Jonathan Vanian
January 26, 2018

Reports that Dell Technologies is considering an initial public offering caused shares of VMware to soar nearly 20% on Friday.

VMware’s shares hit a record high of $164.90 before receding to around $151.62 in mid-day trading, a gain of 9.4%.

The data center software company’s sudden stock spike follows several media reports on Thursday that said Dell was considering going public, just five years after the technology giant went private in a deal worth nearly $25 billion.

Dell owns a majority stake of VMware (vmw) as a result of its massive $67 billion acquisition of data center tech conglomerate EMC. EMC’s portfolio of companies included VMware, which sells software that lets one server perform the tasks of several computers.

Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell referred to VMware at the time as being the “crown jewel” of EMC’s many business units, and chose to have VMware remain “an independent public company” that wouldn’t be subsumed into Dell like EMC’s core data center storage business.

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Michael Dell has publicly praised the benefits of being a private company, emphasizing the freedom of running a giant business without the investor scrutiny. An IPO would mark a huge reversal.

 

By acquiring EMC, however, Dell has accumulated $46 billion in debt, and going public could help the company raise cash and pay some of the debt off, Bloomberg News speculates. The news organization also said that Dell was also considering buying out the rest of VMware if it doesn’t go public, or holding an IPO for its Pivotal software development business unit.

A Dell spokesperson told Fortune that the company “does not comment on rumor or speculation.”

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