A New York financial firm is now the most likely candidate to buy online service company Compuserve, whose parent H&R Block aims to close the deal by the end of September. Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe emerged as a potential bidder after the collapse of a $1.3 billion stock deal with rival America Online in April. The new agreement is likely to be worth only $750-800 million, but will be mainly in cash. Welsh Carson specialises in financing and turning round private companies in the IT and health markets.
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