Transaction Systems Architects Inc. said it will buy Intranet Inc. in a stock deal valued at about $50 million.

The acquisition, which awaits shareholder approval, would combine two fierce competitors in the market for corporate electronic banking software.

Intranet, a privately held firm based in Newton, Mass., develops software called Money Transfer System, which is used by big banks for large-dollar funds transfers.

It also sells software called Cache, or "continuous automated clearing house environment," which is used by banks for automated clearing house processing.

"Intranet, a very good competitor on the wholesale side, gives us some great technical talent," said William J. Hoelting, a spokesman at Transaction Systems Architects.

Intranet chairman Anthony Smith said in a press statement that the company would benefit from its new owner's presence in nearly 70 countries.

Omaha-based Transaction Systems Architects sells software to banks for ACH processing and ATM network operations. It would convert Intranet into a business unit that would focus on corporate banking, research, and development.

With more than 100 clients out of the top 500 financial institutions, "Transaction Systems Architects has a very well-entrenched franchise with the banks," said Mark Wolfenberger, an analyst at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell.

"It is a matter of Intranet finding it hard to get into the ATM and point of sale markets, while Transaction Systems Architects has a presence in Intranet's market," he said.

Transaction Systems Architects had fiscal 1997 revenues of $215 million; Intranet's revenues are about $20 million.

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