Jacobs' creditors clean out the office

May 26, 1993|By Mark Hyman | Mark Hyman,Staff Writer

They've repossessed his Baltimore County mansion.

They've forced him to clear out of his Manhattan office.

Once again, Eli S. Jacobs' creditors have come calling. And this time, they've taken the Orioles owner's desk.

And it's not just any desk. It's a mahogany writing table, circa 1820, inset with green leather and carrying an $18,000 price tag.

The antique desk, which was leased to Mr. Jacobs four years ago, recently was reclaimed by creditors, along with tens of items that had filled the office of his New York investment firm.

The furnishings, which range from the inexpensive to the lavish, include:

* One Chesterfield sofa, $8,323.

* Sheraton tub chairs, $4,651.

* Wooden hangers for a guest closet, $191.

* Brass coat hooks for office doors, $336.

* A brass toilet-paper dispenser, $77.

* A 32-inch world globe, $5,400.

According to court documents, Mr. Jacobs' company leased the items -- kitchen appliances, window treatments and office furniture -- from several companies beginning in 1988.

Mr. Jacobs' firm owes one of the leasing companies, General Electric Capital Corp., about $157,000, which was to be paid in 17 monthly installments of $9,200. At that point, the Jacobs firm could have purchased the items for $1, the court documents say.

But Mr. Jacobs' finances have soured and, last month, he enteredpersonal bankruptcy. He moved last month from his Park Avenue office to more modest surroundings on Lexington Avenue as part of a scaling-back of his business operations. The items were taken back shortly before the move, according to the court filings in the New York Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District.

In papers filed last week, Mr. Jacobs asked the bankruptcy judge to terminate the leases for the office furnishings.

Mr. Jacobs' lawyer did not return a phone call from The Sun yesterday.

The bankruptcy judge, Cornelius Blackshear, yesterday granted Mr. Jacobs' request to extend until June 7 the deadline for filing a statement of his assets and debts with the court.

By that time, Mr. Jacobs is expected to have submitted to the judge a deal to sell the Orioles to investors led by William O. DeWitt Jr., a Cincinnati businessman. The DeWitt deal could be worth $140 million, according to sources familiar with the sale talks.

After Mr. Jacobs submits the sale contract, the bankruptcy judge may consider other offers for the team, including those from three other groups that have expressed interest in buying the Orioles.

Maryland investors, led by Peter G. Angelos, a Baltimore lawyer, have formed one group. New Yorkers head the other two groups. An art dealer, Jeffrey H. Loria, is pursuing a purchase of the team and was in Baltimore last week to visit the stadium and meet team officials. The owners of Nobody Beats the Wiz, a New Jersey-based chain of electronic and recording music stores, are the other potential buyers.

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