In their second investment in Orange County in recent weeks, Chicago financier Irving B. Harris and his associates have acquired 5.4% of Pharmatec Inc. for about $500,000 in cash and may buy a bigger stake in the 2-year-old Santa Ana drug company.
The purchase was revealed in documents filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A similar filing last week showed that Harris and associates recently purchased a 5.6% stake worth about $500,000 in Trimedyne Inc., a medical laser device manufacturer also headquartered in Santa Ana.
A report must be filed with the SEC whenever 5% or more of a company's stock is purchased.
Marvin P. Loeb, who describes himself as a medical entrepreneur, is the founder, chairman and principal shareholder of both Pharmatec and Trimedyne. Loeb said the investment by Harris and his associates shows that "they are following what I'm doing, they're following the technology."
Harris said in an interview from his Chicago office that his investment in the two companies totals "less than $1 million," which he does "not consider a significant amount of money." He said that even though he might buy additional shares in the Santa Ana companies, he had no intention of becoming involved in either's day-to-day operation.