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10 years gone: The VA Linux Systems IPO

Dec 11, 2009, 15:33 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Mark Walker)

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"But back to IPO day. I strolled into work sometime after 9:30 that morning and was immediately greeted by Pay, my manager, with some astounding news. We all guessed that the day would be significant, but none of us were prepared for the tsunami of blissful, surreal numbness rushing to greet us.

"He showed me a sheet of paper faxed that morning from the investment bank's office (truly ground zero on that day), that was copied ad nauseum and shoved into disbelieving faces. I'll never forget what was on it: just a simple table with 2 columns. The column on the left was a list of investors, and the column on the right was the price they bid for our stock. The numbers were astronomical: $320, $250, $200, $300, $290.

"Curiously, some investor didn't get the memo and bid a paltry $50. We laughed at that because it was really funny--at the time. A year later, and I would recall that lone investor for an entirely different reason: on December 8, 2000, LNUX closed the day at $8.49."

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