At the height of the 1980s takeover boom, he was known as "Irv the Liquidator" because of his penchant for buying and then breaking up companies. Today, however, investor Irwin Jacobs is fighting to avoid becoming Irv the Liquidated.

In an audit of Jacobs' closely held Minstar, a boatmaker, Arthur Andersen accountants questioned the company's "ability to continue as a going concern," noting that it was in violation of some loan covenants. To Jacobs, Andersen was overstating the problem. He says that he and investor Carl Pohlad have kicked in $15 million to help solve the company's cash crunch. He has also raised $15 million from two private investors and is close to securing an additional $15 million. Jacobs asks: "Why would I put $15 million in if I didn't know it was good money?"

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