But wait, there’s an IPO: Austin’s Ronco files for public offering

Ronco — the company behind the Veg-o-Matic and the Pocket Fisherman — is headquartered in Austin now. And it’s looking to make a deal with investors.


Ronco Brands, a new Austin-based holding company for the maker of the Veg-o-Matic food processors and other iconic gadgets sold on late-night infomercials with the “but wait … there’s more” catchphrase, has filed to raise $30 million in an initial public offering.

And if investors act now, they can get a Ronco Rotisserie and Ronco Ready Grill along with their stock purchase — seriously.

The small company, incorporated less than two months ago as the parent of Ronco Holdings and its brands that include the Ronco Chiptastic Microwave Potato chip Maker, the Ronco 5 Minute Pasta Wizard and the Ronco Pocket Fisherman, among others, is valued at more than $100 million under the offering. William Moore, chief executive of Ronco Holdings, will control 97 percent of the shareholder voting rights once it’s completed.

In a written statement, Moore said: “The Ronco brand has been synonymous with ‘innovation’ for more than three generations of American consumers. Our products are found in millions of American homes. We’re proud of our legacy, and our reputation for providing American families with one of the most trusted and established lifestyle brands in our space.”

VINTAGE VIDEOS: Click here to watch some of Ronco’s famous TV commercials. 

Ronco, founded by inventor and entrepreneur Ron Popeil in 1964, has gone through a number of ownership changes over the years and has filed for bankruptcy twice, most recently in 2007.

The company’s current owners bought it in 2011.

The company has 16 of its 23 employees at is Austin headquarters at 15505 Long Vista Drive, which is just off Interstate 35 in North Austin, near Pflugerville.

Ronco Holdings reported a net loss of about $4.5 million in 2015 on about $9 million in revenue, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and it had a net loss of about $9.8 million in 2014 on about $6.6 million in revenue.

Still, Ronco maintains that it has sold over $2 billion in Ronco-branded products in the U.S. since its inception. It plans to use funds from the initial public offering to “fund development of new products, expand new markets and build a new future for an iconic American brand.”

The company is circumventing the conventional Wall Street firms that handle initial public offerings, instead using what’s called Reg A+, a part of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, which is designed to facilitate access to capital markets for small companies. Using that regualtion also allows for fewer financial reporting obligations. The initial offering is for six months, but the company can also choose to extend it for another six months.

Its website, Ronco.com, is offering “Ronco Investment Rewards,” including discounts off Ronco products ranging from 10 percent to 20 percent for investors who buy $1,000 of Ronco stock. Investors who buy more than $10,000 of the company’s stock will receive a free Ronco Rotisserie and Ronco Ready Grill, according to the website. Ronco has applied to list its stock under the symbol “RNCO.”



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