An offer by private investors to buy Parks Sausage Co. has let state economic development officials off the hook. Parks Sausage Co. was teetering near bankruptcy when it sought help from the state in July. All it got was the cold shoulder.
State officials were still stinging from criticism of an earlier proposed $1.5 million bailout of Stephens Engineering Co. Critics said Gov. Parris N. Glendening was paying back political supporter Wallace O. Stephens, who owns the struggling company in Prince George's County. The administration withdrew the Stephens proposal and appeared loath to help Parks Sausage, whose principal owner, Raymond V. Haysbert Sr., was also a Glendening supporter.
Fortunately, the city of Baltimore, which has much more at stake, was able to extend a $400,000 line of credit to Parks Sausage. That gave the company enough time to consider proposals from a number of potential investors. It has agreed to sell the company to two entrepreneurs with ties to the late Reginald Lewis and his TLC Beatrice foods conglomerate. Part of the deal is a promise to keep the company and its 220 jobs in Baltimore.