Former Husker football coach Tom Osborne said Saturday that he had no involvement in last week’s bankruptcy of an Omaha frozen-yogurt franchise in which he was an investor.
Osborne said in an interview that he wasn’t informed of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy and liquidation plans of Focus Red Mango, operator of three Omaha shops of the Dallas-based chain.
“I was not told about it, I did not participate in it, and I would not have approved of it,” Osborne said.
Focus Red Mango cited about $400,000 of debt and virtually no assets in the filing last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Omaha.
The filing was made under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code, which is for companies planning to cease operations. The filing indicated assets are unlikely to be available for distribution to creditors.
Osborne said he invested in Focus Red Mango a few years ago after being impressed with the company’s product. Restaurant reviewer Zagat has twice cited Red Mango for exceptional frozen treats, ranking them No. 1 in two categories.
“I was simply an investor,” said Osborne, listed in the petition as a 10 percent shareholder. “I received no return on my investment and will lose all that I did invest.”
Osborne declined to specify how much he invested with Focus Red Mango, saying only that it was “a fair amount.”
He also said he loaned money to the company this fall to keep things going in the hopes of salvaging enough assets to pay off creditors.
“But I had no idea bankruptcy was contemplated,” he said. “I am philosophically against it. Creditors ought to be paid, and if I have any obligation or responsibility I will stand up and accept it.”
The largest creditor in the case is Omaha’s American National Bank, owed about $335,000 for business loans.
One of the three Omaha-area locations, at One Pacific Place, is open for business under new ownership, Red Mango said. Locations in Kearney and Grand Island also are open.
The bankruptcy filing lists Bret Cain as Focus Red Mango’s managing member and largest shareholder, with 80 percent. The company’s bankruptcy lawyers did not respond to email and voicemail messages.