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Administrators conclude sale of Tough Mudder’s UK business to Spartan Race

Administrators conclude sale of Tough Mudder’s UK business to Spartan Race
February 13, 2020

Obstacle-racing company Spartan has completed its acquisition of the UK affiliate of Tough Mudder, announcing that the takeover will allow the mass-participation company to run a full schedule of events in 2020.

The sale by joint Administrators, Michael Solomons and Andrew Pear, of BM Advisory LLP, will see Tough Mudder’s UK business continue as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Spartan, operated by its existing London-based team, led by Giles Chater, in the role of Managing Director - Europe, with the guidance of former global Tough Mudder Chief Executive, Kyle McLaughlin.

The Germany subsidiary of Tough Mudder Ltd will continue to operate from the UK office as a potential acquisition is discussed.

Tough Mudder’s UK operation and its US wing (Tough Mudder Inc.) have been the subject of parallel bankruptcy proceedings in the UK and USA after a standoff between the company’s co-founders, Will Dean and Guy Livingstone, and the company’s largest lender, Active Networks, caused it to cease trading.

In January, Dean and Livingstone were accused of ignoring the interests of creditors in holding out for a larger share of the company’s proposed sale to rival Spartan Race.

Spartan had made a ‘seven-figure offer’ for the Tough Mudder business in November last year but complained that the inter-company dispute had “rendered Tough Mudder incapable of continuing operations”.

However, staff returned to work at the UK affiliate on 27th January after restructuring, recovery and insolvency specialists, BM Advisory LLP, were appointed joint administrators of the business.

Spartan underwrote the cost of resuming operations during the administration process to protect the value of the company as it sought to complete the acquisition.

Commenting on the acquisition, Spartan founder and Chief Executive, Joe De Sena stated “we’re proud to welcome Tough Mudder UK to the Spartan brand umbrella.

“The company’s dedicated team has built an incredible, passionate community and we’re excited to support their efforts to transform lives.”

Looking forward, McLaughlin, noted “Spartan’s dedication to obstacle course races, transformation and community is exactly what we need to persevere and we could not be happier with the acquisition.

“We’ve been impressed with strong sales in Europe over the past couple weeks and know that our community will share our excitement over the news heading into the 2020 Tough Mudder race season.”

Spartan is reportedly still in the process of trying to acquire Tough Mudder’s US business, which is yet to resume trading, but the speed of the bankruptcy proceedings in the country is delaying the sale.

Australasian Leisure Management understands that Tough Mudder's Australian and Middle Eastern operations are  independent licensees. They are still promoting events through 2020.

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-owner / Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-owner and publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

As of 2020, he has launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

Read more from this author

Related Articles

8th February 2020 - Tough Mudder entities enter administration

27th January 2020 - Tough Mudder resumes operations in Europe as administrators appointed

21st January 2020 - Creditors push Tough Mudder towards bankruptcy and sale to rival Spartan

20th December 2019 - New Spartan Race format to make Australian debut at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium

5th September 2019 - Anytime Fitness and Tough Mudder reveal new partnership

13th February 2019 - Tough Mudder signs with ONTHEGO as Australia apparel partner for the next three years

23rd January 2019 - Tough Mudder looks to secure capital investment for linked fitness club brand

14th May 2018 - Tough Mudder to expand in Middle East with Oman events

9th February 2018 - Spartan Race announces first ever season of events in China

16th September 2017 - Tough Mudder Chief Executive releases account of building his obstacle race movement

7th May 2017 - Spartan race event expected to attract 4,000 participants in Western Australian return

18th August 2016 - ACTIVE Network introduces community-based fitness app

31st July 2016 - Tough Mudder creator slams Australian red tape

23rd July 2016 - Tough Mudder to hold first event in Bali

17th June 2016 - Tough Mudder looks to Asian and Middle East expansion with IMG partnership

14th November 2014 - Spartan Race Australia launches first ever stadium event


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