November 4, 2008 / 4:19 PM / 11 years ago

Intel cutting its VMware stake in half

A woman checks her mobile phone as she walks past an Intel Core Duo advertisement outside a computer shop in Beijing March 26, 2007. REUTERS/Claro Cortes

BOSTON (Reuters) - Intel Corp (INTC.O), the world’s biggest chipmaker, is cutting its stake in business software maker VMware Inc (VMW.N) in half, planning to sell the bulk of those shares on Tuesday, according to a regulatory filing.

Intel disclosed that it had recently sold 1 million shares in the virtualization software maker and plans to sell another 3.75 million VMware shares on the open market “approximately” on Tuesday.

The sales amount to 4.75 million of the 9.5 million shares that Intel bought in VMware in July 2007. The filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was released late on Monday and did not give a reason for the sale.

Intel said that it sold 500,000 shares to Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) and 500,000 shares to EMC Corp EMC.N on October 30 at a price of $26.52 per share.

The chipmaker originally paid $23 per share for the stock in a private placement. VMware shares hit a record high of $125.25 on October 31, 2007, after going public in August that year at $29 per share.

Shares of VMware, which is majority-owned by EMC, fell nearly 4 percent before recovering to trade up 0.53 percent at $31.98 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

Intel’s planned Tuesday sale is equivalent to about seven times the average 90-day trading volume in VMware.

Officials with Intel and VMware could not be reached for comment.

Reporting by Jim Finkle, editing by Matthew Lewis

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