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ORANGE COUNTY BRIEFLY

New Jersey Company Acquires 23.4% of Gish

November 26, 1998|Barbara Marsh

A group led by a New Jersey investment company said Wednesday it acquired a 23.4% stake in Gish Biomedical Inc., becoming the Irvine biomedical firm's largest shareholder.

Kent Financial Services Inc., a publicly held securities company in Bedminster, said it made the investment in Gish to take advantage of the stock's low price. At Gish's annual meeting last week, the Kent group elected Howard Bovers to one of the six open positions on the company's board.

The investment group--which holds a total of about 807,000 shares--includes the Los Angeles real estate firm Citadel Holding Corp. and Bovers, who is president and the major owner of Bradford Trading Co., a Vero Beach, Fla. investment company. Bovers owns 10,500 Gish shares,

Jeanne Miller, Gish's chief financial officer, said five of the six individuals on management's slate of nominees also were elected.

Miller said purchases by Kent affiliates included a big block recently sold by Heartland Advisors Inc., a Wisconsin investment firm. Until recently, Heartland stood as the company's biggest shareholder with a 21% stake.

Gish's stock jumped 31 cents in Nasdaq trading Wednesday, to a 52-week high of $3.19.

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