Nichols Institute of San Juan Capistrano, a maker of medical diagnostic test kits, Friday announced an initial public offering of 1,375,000 shares of common stock. The company, founded in 1972 by Albert L. Nichols, hopes to raise at least $5 million from the public issue.

Donald S. Mullins, vice chairman and chief financial officer, said the company decided to make a public offering to raise working capital, repay a portion of the company’s long-term debt and expand facilities.

The offering includes 925,000 shares offered by the company and 450,000 shares offered by a group of unnamed shareholders. Managing underwriter is L. F. Rothschild, Unterberg, Towbin of New York.

Nichols, president and chairman, will retain control of the company with 33.9% of all stock, said Mullins.


Nichols Institute had a profit of $828,000 in 1984 on sales of $19.7 million, a 25% increase from its 1983 profit of $661,000 on sales of $16.7 million.

The Data Storage Division of Tanberg Data Inc. of Anaheim has received a $5.1 million order from Peachtree Technology Inc. in Norcross, Ga. for its computer memory products. Over the next 18 months, Tanberg’s Data Storage Division will supply Peachtree with streaming tape cartridge drives that are used to record the data processed in computers.