Bentley Systems Inc., a provider of software products and collaborative services for architects and engineers, filed a registration statement with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission on April 23 seeking approval for an initial public offering of up to $172.5 million of common stock.

The SEC will investigate the filing documents and must ensure that Exton, Pa.-based Bentley has met its fair disclosure rules before the offering can be declared effective.

The expected price and total number of shares to be offered, if the IPO is approved, has not been disclosed, but if it goes through the shares will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the proposed symbol BSS. The IPO will be handled by Lehman Brothers, Deutsche Bank Securities, SG Cowen and Wachovia Securities.

According to the preliminary prospectus, Bentley intends to use the proceeds of the sale to help fund its proposed acquisition of Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Rebis, maker of software for process plant design and instrumentation. Bentley already holds a 12.5% stake in Rebis and has an option to acquire the remainder. Other proceeds will be used to pay off debt, and for general corporate purposes, capital expenditures and strategic acquisitions, according to the filing.