Osbornes tied to Red Mango operator facing bankruptcy

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Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013 12:00 am

An Omaha operator of Red Mango frozen yogurt shops has filed for bankruptcy and liquidation, after closing some locations around town in the fall.

Focus Red Mango, whose investors include former U.S. Rep. and Nebraska football coaching legend Tom Osborne, filed for Chapter 7 liquidation this week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Omaha.

The petition cites debts of as much as $500,000 and assets of not more than $50,000.

“Debtor estimates that, after any exempt property is excluded and administrative expenses paid, there will be no funds available for distribution to unsecured creditors,” the petition reads, signed by Focus Red Mango Managing Member Bret Cain.

Voicemail and email messages with the company’s bankruptcy attorney were not returned.

Focus Red Mango operated three Omaha-area shops, two of which are shuttered. The shop at One Pacific Place is open under the ownership of a new franchise operator, Dallas-based Red Mango said.

Among Focus Red Mango shareholders, officers and directors, Tom Osborne and wife Nancy are listed as 10 percent owners; Cain is listed as 80 percent owner, with each of the several other owners listed as owning 2.5 percent.

The Osbornes are also listed as a creditor, owed an amount cited as “unknown” in the petition.

A representative at the Osborne-founded nonprofit organization Teammates Mentoring said that Tom Osborne was out of town Thursday and that she would try to contact him for comment.

The largest creditor listed in the filing is Omaha-based American National Bank, owed about $335,000. Also listed are many business debts owed to vendors such as utility companies and pest control services. One of the largest is Virginia-based Performance Food Group, owed about $38,000.

Performance Food Group declined to comment on the matter through spokesman Joe Vagi.

The bankruptcy filing says that the three Focus Red Mango store managers earning $2,600 per month have been paid and that no amounts are owed to them.

Red Mango’s Texas headquarters said in a statement Thursday that Nebraska locations in Kearney and Grand Island are open.

“We still see Nebraska as a market for Red Mango and the brand’s franchise expansion,” the company said.

The first Red Mango opened in 2007, according to the company’s website, which says there are about 200 nationwide. Omaha’s first opened in the summer of 2010 amid a spate of growth in frozen yogurt shops locally.

The frozen treats have some cache: restaurant reviewer Zagat has ranked Red Mango No. 1 in two categories, “Best Smoothie/Frozen Yogurt” and “Top Healthy Options Within the Quick Refreshments Chains.”

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