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Steve Strand, who has owned the Radio Shack in Hamilton, Mont. for seven years, sits in front of his storeMarch 29, 2011 (David Erickson/David Erickson/The Associated Press)
Steve Strand, who has owned the Radio Shack in Hamilton, Mont. for seven years, sits in front of his storeMarch 29, 2011 (David Erickson/David Erickson/The Associated Press)

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In Montana, a free gun with your satellite TV (or pizza) Add to ...

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A gun with your satellite TV? A RadioShack Corp. independent dealer is balking at the company's pleas to stop a promotion that could only happen in America: He's offering free guns with satellite TV subscriptions.

The Montana dealer, Steve Strand, has for months been giving away a coupon for a free pistol or shotgun if you take a two-year contract for Dish Network. If you don't like the gun offer - the pistol's worth $125 (U.S.) and the shotgun $125 - you can get a certificate for $50 worth of pizza instead.

Earlier this week, according to The Associated Press, RadioShack ordered Mr. Strand to kill the promotion, but he refused, telling the news agency that "I don't think they understand the way of life in Montana."

Mr. Strand wasn't available, but Fabian Levy, manager of S&S Electronics in Hamilton, Mont., confirmed RadioShack called on Tuesday, but they've not heard from the company since.

The dealer's offer is displayed at www.getagun.net, complete with an armed cowboy, the offer for the gun, and the offer for a pepperoni pizza. Mr. Strand did take down a sign for the free gun, but put a promo to the website in its place.

A background check - free - is needed for the gun, but the pizza comes with no strings attached.

Stronach leaves Magna helm Frank Stronach is stepping down as chairman of Magna International Inc. , ending more than 50 years at the helm of the company he founded in 1957, Globe and Mail auto writer Greg Keenan reports.

Mr. Stronach, 78, will stay on the board as honorary chairman and founder, says the circular for Magna's annual meeting issued Thursday.

The move is the latest in a slow disengagement by Mr. Stronach from the company he founded as a tool and die shop that has since grown to become a global auto parts powerhouse.

Priszm in court protection Priszm Income Fund , better known for the fast-food outlets they operate, filed today for bankruptcy protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act.

And just about everyone at the upper levels quit, including John Bitove, who founded the Toronto Raptors, and the trustees and directors, Globe and Mail writers Jeff Gray, Tim Kiladze and Steve Ladurantaye report. (The Raptors haven't been doing much better, in terms of how they're playing.)

All its operations will continue, it said.

Priszm, franchisee of several hundred KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut outlets in Canada, said in a statement it filed for court protection to "facilitate the sale of its restaurants." It has already struck a deal to sell more than 230 restaurants in Ontario and British Columbia, and said it also has received "a number of expressions of interest" for those that remain.

The sale of the outlets was sparked by an unmanageble debt load. In December the company had $65-million of long-term debt maturing, but mid-month the trust did not pay interest on it to its senior lender. Although the restaurant sales were supposed to help solve this problem,

It was clear when the sale was first announced the company would still be about $20-million in the hole in December alone.

The debt problems couldn't have come at a worse time because Priszm was in the midst of upgrading its locations that did not meet the image standards of Yum! Restaurants Canada, which owns the franchise rights.

In an interview conducted last month, Mr. Bitove acknowledged that KFC had been a tough sell in Canada, with franchise agreements that require that capital be spent upgrading the stores.

Analysts are also looking today at Scott's Real Estate Investment Trust , where Priszm is the biggest tenant.

"We are hopeful that the potential sales will occur and that Scott's will end up with stronger tenants and more secure revenue (Scott's is also looking into replacing the tenant in some locations," said Desjardins analyst Jeffrey Roberts.

"Until the issues with Priszm are resolved, we continue to rate the units of Scott's REIT Hold-Above average risk with a $7.60 target price."

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