Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, a New York private investment firm, has agreed to buy Banctec Inc. of Dallas in a deal valued at $525 million.

The deal would remove the struggling check processing and core banking software company from public scrutiny, said Susan Seiter, a Banctec spokeswoman. "As a private company, I think we can have a strategic focus and make investments for the long term," she said.

Bantec's revenues declined 1% in 1998, to $597.9 million, due to bank consolidations and year-2000 concerns among its prospective customers. Ms. Seiter said Welsh Carson is a believer in Banctec's products and growth opportunities. Banctec would continue operating under its current name and management.

Under the deal, each share of Banctec stock would be converted to $18.50 in cash. The stock closed April 1 at $13 per share.

The deal is subject to the approval of Bantec shareholders. It is expected to close in the third quarter. Welsh Carson manages $7 billion of private equity capital, focusing on the information services and health- care industries.

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