Free

Not so friendly…

icecream.jpegLate yesterday, Friendly Ice Cream (FRN) filed its Q (the call is going on now), which included this interesting exhibit on recently departed CEO John Cutter’s departure from the company. While Friendly’s announced Cutter’s departure back in September for the oft-used "pursue other interests", Cutter’s agreement wasn’t filed until yesterday. Unlike a lot of other top execs who step down for similar personal pursuits, Cutter’s package is pretty paltry — essentially a year’s salary. And come the end of the year, they’ll even stop paying for his country club membership.

But perhaps the far more interesting Friendly’s filing was this amended 13D, which threw down the ice-cream scoop, so to speak and seems to provide some clues on the "pursue other interests" excuse. That’s because in the 13D, the Lion Fund, which owns nearly 13% of Friendly’s stock, said it requested two board seats on Sept. 20, which is about a week before Cutter stepped down. The fund, which is run by San Antonio investor Sardar Biglari, caused a bit of a shake-up at Western Sizzlin (WSZZ) earlier this year. And judging by the filing, it looks like Biglari has similar plans for Friendly’s.

Though Biglari didn’t file a acid-laced letter as an exhibit, he did include some of the legal documents between the decidedly unfriendly lawsuit filed by Friendly co-founder S. Prestley Blake against the company and Chairman Donald Smith for being a bit too friendly with the corporate jet. While I didn’t read the entire filing, a quick skim makes for some pretty interesting reading about decisions that are normally kept behind closed doors. It also shows that the ice-cream may not be the only thing at Friendly’s in the deep-freeze.