Veg-O-Matic makerÆs finances sliced and diced, files Chapter 11
Famed TV retailer Ronco Corp., which has shipped $1.4 billion worth of gadgets like the Veg-O-Matic and the Fishin' Magician over the past 50 years, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The Simi Valley-based firm, founded by 72-year-old entrepreneur Ron Popeil, declared in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing Thursday that it has $32.7 million in debts and $13.9 million in assets.
Popeil, who sold the company two years ago to the current owners, is still owed $11.8 million from the $55 million sale and is listed as the major creditor. The Food Network, Court TV and the QVC home-shopping network are also listed as creditors.
Ronco, which visited bankruptcy court previously during the 1980s, said in the filing that the initial $40 million payment to Popeil seriously depleted the firm's cash reserves. The documents also revealed that a nonbinding agreement has been reached with an unnamed party to purchase the retailer.