Now more virtual, as a "tracking stock" model in the Dell acquisition deal; for other happy returns, see For Joseph Tucci, a Deal to Cement His Legacy, and Cash Out Big (NYT)
"Back in 2004, EMC, a data-storage company that was one of the last survivors of the Massachusetts technology boom of the 1970s and 1980s, paid $635 million to acquire VMware. The Silicon Valley startup was making a mint in business computing with its software that let companies pare the number of servers it took to run applications, a big cost-saver.EMC Reaps 42-Fold Return on VMware Stake, Sweetening Dell Deal - Bloomberg Business
The investment has paid off in spades. EMC’s roughly 81 percent stake in VMware, which went public in 2007, was worth $26.9 billion -- more than 42 times what EMC paid for it, based on VMware’s Oct. 9 closing price of $78.65.
“I don’t know of any other strategic investment that has had that type of return at this scale,” said Jayson Noland, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co."