Sale of Orioles to DeWitt group reportedly complete Terms said to include $135 million in cash

March 08, 1993|By Mark Hyman | Mark Hyman,Staff Writer

The long-anticipated sale of the Orioles to investors led by Cincinnati businessman William O. DeWitt Jr. has been completed and could be announced by opening day, according to a broadcast report.

WBAL Radio reported today that the DeWitt group will buy the team from New York investor Eli S. Jacobs for about $135 million. The new owners have agreed to pay cash for the team and will assume deferred payments to former Oriole players no longer with the team, the station said.

The sale would mark the end of months of mostly secret negotiations between Mr. Jacobs and Mr. DeWitt and, more recently, between Mr. DeWitt and creditors of Mr. Jacobs, whose financial empire is deeply troubled.

Mr. Jacobs paid $70 million for the team from the widow of previous owner Edward Bennett Williams. Mr. Jacobs had been seeking $200 million for the club.

Two weeks ago, The Sun reported that Mr. Jacobs had agreed to sell the team to the DeWitt group for about $140 million. The deal was on hold while Mr. Jacobs' creditors considered it.

Mr. Jacobs, who was said to have a net worth of $500 million three years ago, has been attempting to restructure his finances and fend off banks and other creditors. Those creditors have watched the sale talks closely and are now directly involved in the negotiations.

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