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.
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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