Talk about turkeys…

October 26, 2006

fryer.jpegThanksgiving may stiill be a month away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about how you’re going to fry up that turkey in your driveway, like my neighbors did a few years ago (and which I’m obviously still talking about!). And when I think turkey fryers, I think of TV huckster extraordinaire Ron Popeil, who apparently has come out with a new turkey fryer according to this 8-K filed by Ronco Corp (RNCP.OB) earlier this week. Though footnoted doesn’t normally spend a lot of time on OTC stocks, this was simply too delicious to pass up.

Ronco went public about a year ago and as we noted at the time, Popeil cleaned up on the deal, selling it for around $53 million to a vc shell company and then getting a fat consulting and appearances contract that paid him as much as $10K per calendar day. Ronco investors, however, haven’t done quite as well during this time. Yet, despite this lackluster performance, the company has shown that it’s not afraid to give Popeil more money, bumping up his consulting fees by another $3,000 a week. There’s also something called the NCOAV payment, which isn’t really defined in this or earlier filings, but which is changed to $13.15 million and another $15 million in other payments.

But here’s the thing that really caught my eye: Ron Popeil gets to keep the rights to the turkey fryer. Ronco may sell all of his other inventions, but the turkey fryer is all his. The company spells out in the filing that Popeil can "use his name and likeness on the packaging of the Turkey Fryer, on the Turkey Fryer itself and in connection with the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of the Turkey Fryer." So the company shelled out all that money, the stock is tanking and they still can’t even keep the turkey fryer! 

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