Court Approves Sale Of Tough Mudder To Spartan Race – TM Virginia To Be First 2020 Event.

Tough Mudder Back in Business

Yesterday afternoon, Judge Sontchi of the The Bankruptcy Court of Delaware, approved the sale of Tough Mudder to Spartan Race. As we had reported on Feb 12, The Trustee appointed in this case, had filed a motion encouraging the sale go through based on Spartan’s offer to purchase the company, get employees back to work, and events up and running as soon as possible.

In the two week interim, there were some objections which the Trustee was able to resolve prior to the 1:00pm EST hearing yesterday. One objection was from Navy Federal, who re-signed a sponsorship deal with Tough Mudder prior to the bankruptcy, and wanted to be sure they had an equitable deal for the new partnership moving forward. Another was from Raceway Park, the legendary venue in Englishtown, New Jersey, that has held several Tough Mudder events including the first 3 World’s Toughest Mudders. Raceway Park’s previous arrangement was exclusive with Tough Mudder, and now the venue wanted to be open to holding Spartan events as well.

The Trustee’s recommendation was read to the judge by the Trustee’s council. He read in part, “It is anticipated that Mr. McLaughlin will be named CEO of the buyer and continue to manage the Tough Mudder brand business. Also in the days leading up to this sale, Spartan hired many of Tough Mudder’s former employees and intends to engage several additional key employees of Tough Mudder in order to successfully put on at least six of the previous schedule 2020 Tough Mudder events. He went on to say that “If the sale is approved these employees will become employees of the buyer and have the expertise to perform the obligations under the assumed contracts. These talented employees are familiar with the assumed contracts and assumed events and their know-how provides adequate Assurance of future performance.”

All was well received by the judge who prior to the ruling joked  “Not that you would know it looking at me, but I’ve done a couple marathons”. He went on to say that “I’ve enjoyed watching The Spartan Races on television and that he was “particular impressed with Spartan reaching out to differently abled people”

His ruling stated “The overwhelming uncontroverted record supports the process, supports the noticing, supports the price, supports the assumption of the contracts, and supports the adequate assurance and good faith and appropriateness with regard to approving the sale to the Spartan entities”

He went on to state “I do consider the sale of the business…a resuscitation of this business, to become a growing concern, as a reorganization that preserves jobs, preserves an interesting product, that provides a lot of satisfaction to it’s participants. I am very happy indeed to sign The Order and I have approved it.”

Toughest Mudder Chicago

Entered into the record as you read above was a promise of at least 6 events. As of this morning, Tough Mudder updated their US website to include the following 8 Tough Mudder event weekends. At post time, tickets are yet not on sale, but we have been told tickets could be turned on as early as the end of the week. Here are the current weekends listed on the website.

Virginia May 30-31
Twin Cities July 11-12
Chicago Aug 22-23 (including Toughest 12 hour Chicago)
Tristate Sept 12-13
Seattle Sept 19-20
Dallas Oct 31, Nov 1
WTM Nov 7 and 8
So Cal Nov 14-15

Kyle McLaughlin has been reinstated as CEO and said  “We’re very excited that the court approved the terms of the deal spartan had in play with the Trustee. With that behind us, we’re going to get everyone back to work to restore Mudder Nation and come back stronger and better than ever.”

Joe Desena is currently at the UK Mudder offices and told ORM “Was surreal being in the offices today- love the team- it’s going to be great.”

For questions about Tough Mudder UK schedule, click here.

For questions about refunds for cancelled events, click here.

Stay up to date with all of the Tough Mudder news, and how we got to this point here.

*Cover art by Mike Muday

Trustee Files A Motion To Approve Sale Of Tough Mudder To Spartan Race

Spartan Race buys Tough Mudder

As we reported on February 4, Spartan Race have been working closely with the US Trustee in charge of the Tough Mudder Bankruptcy Case, to acquire Tough Mudder.

Yesterday, the Trustee filed a motion approving the sale of Tough Mudder US to Spartan Race. In addition, the Trustee has requested, and the Court has ruled that any other arguments or bids must be received by the next hearing which is February 25, 2020 at 1:00pm EST in Judge Sotchi’s court.

We are going to capture and summarize what we believe the most salient points of the recent filings are for the obstacle racing community.

We will begin with the confidence The Trustee has in Joe Desena and Spartan’s plan to save Tough Mudder .

From the motion: “The Sale is a sound exercise of the Trustee’s business judgment. With no other viable offers for the Acquired Assets, the Debtors’ estates are left with assets rapidly losing value with significant risk of offering no return to the Debtors’ estates. The Buyer has put forth the most favorable offer for these assets. After due consideration of the terms of the offer, the Trustee concluded that the Sale Agreement provides the best value for the Acquired Assets that are otherwise at risk of losing significant, if not all, value. The resulting Sale is the product of arm’s-length negotiations between the Parties that includes fair and reasonable consideration under the circumstances. In light of the foregoing, the Trustee believes that the Sale should be approved as a sound exercise of the Trustee’s business judgment.”

Next, is the number of events which Tough Mudder will produce in North America in 2020. There are a handful of venues listed in one of the schedules/exhibits but that page of the filing is focused on monies owed and are not schedule dependent.

The motion states: “Indeed, as of the filing of this Motion, as a result of the Debtors ceasing operations, the events scheduled for the first two quarters of 2020 and others after that may no longer be salvageable and may need to be canceled.”

We reached out to Joe Desena for more specific details on the 2020 schedule. He told us :

“Our goal is to quickly over the next 6 months get Mudder back to where it was just 24 month ago with events in all markets where Spartan exists. It’s going to take a little time and massive investments but we are fully committed”

At the end of this article, we will list ORM’s best estimate as to what we believe the 2020 Tough Mudder schedule may look like.

Some have asked where Active is in all of this?. The motion states:

“The Seller may, but has no obligation to, resume selling Tough Mudder event registrations through the Debtor’s event registration platform with Active for each of the Assumed Events.”

There was some additional information about refunds for events and/or season passes. Joe Desena informed us we will know more about that on or about the 25th of February.

_____________________________________________________________________

Estimated 2020 Tough Mudder Schedule

We can not stress enough this is NOT inside information or anything binding. It is our best estimate based on all information available to date.

College Station March 21, 22 Not Likely

Los Angeles April 4,5              Not Likely

Atlanta May 2,3                      Not Likely

Philly May 16,27                     Not Likely

Missouri May 16, 17`              Not Likely

Michigan May 30,31               Not Likely

Virginia May 30, 31                 Not Likely

Wisconsin June 13, 14            Possible

Whistler, BC June 13-14        Possible

Boston June 20, 21                 Possible

Twin Cities July 11, 12            Possible

Indiana Aug 1 -2                      Probable

Buffalo Aug 15, 16                   Probable

Chicago Aug 22, 23                 Probable

Pittsburgh Aug 29,30              Likely

Tri State Sept 12,13                Likely

Toronto, Sept 19, 20               Likely

Nashville Sept 26,27                Likely

Sonoma Oct 3,4                      Likely

Las Vegas Oct 17,18                Likely

Dallas  Oct 31, Nov 1              Likely

Dallas – WTM  Nov 7,8         Likely

SoCal   Nov 14,15                   Likely

Central Florida Nov 21, 22    Likely

Arizona Dec 5, 6                      Likely

Stay up to date with all of the Tough Mudder news, and how we got to this point here.

Spartan Officially Acquires Tough Mudder UK

Tough Mudder City Event

As has been reported in recent weeks, Spartan has been acquiring the UK properties of Tough Mudder. Today it became official and all events scheduled for 2020 will occur as planned. This includes a Tough Mudder City event taking place on April 17-18, and Europes’ Toughest Mudder, which is 12 hour overnight event on June 13, 2020.

There will be no changes to anything about the outward appearance of Tough Mudder as “OCR UK Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Spartan” puts on events this year. The company will be led by Giles Chater with additional guidance by Kyle McLaughlin.

We’ve reached out to Giles, who is back in the lead role since the company came out of bankruptcy in the U.K. He told us:

It’s been a pleasure working with the Spartan team and we’re excited to join their brand family. I couldn’t be prouder of our talented team, partners and community who’ve supported us throughout. We can now focus on delivering the Tough Mudder experience our customers have come to love.

The United States legal process is moving slower, but the next court date has been set for Feb 25, 2020 at 1:00pm EST.

Read more about the latest on the US process here.

Stay up to date with all of the Tough Mudder news, and how we got to this point here.

LONDON (February 12, 2020) – Extreme wellness and endurance brand Spartan has acquired the business and assets of OCR brand Tough Mudder UK, which had entered administration in the UK at the end of January with Michael Solomons and Andrew Pear of BM Advisory LLP appointed as Joint Administrators. Tough Mudder UK employees are back to work and planning for the 2020 Tough Mudder season, which kicks off April 17 in Finsbury Park, North London.

“We’re proud to welcome Tough Mudder UK to the Spartan brand umbrella,” said Spartan Founder and CEO Joe De Sena. “The company’s dedicated team has built an incredible, passionate community and we’re excited to support their efforts to continue to transform lives.”

As part of the terms of the deal, the Tough Mudder UK business will operate as OCR UK Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Spartan. The company will be operated by the existing Tough Mudder UK London-based team, led by Managing Director Giles Chater with the guidance of former global Tough Mudder CEO Kyle McLaughlin. Between the two brands, Spartan will host 17 events in the UK and Ireland in 2020, drawing more than 250,000 participants. Tough Mudder Germany will continue to operate under the terms of a management agreement with Spartan.

“Spartan’s dedication to wellness, endurance sports, transformation and community is exactly what we need to deliver our vision and we could not be happier to join their family of brands,” said Chater. “We’ve been impressed with strong sales in Europe over the past couple of weeks and know that our community will share our excitement with this news heading into the 2020 Tough Mudder season.”

Tickets are on sale now at toughmudder.co.uk.

Spartan is still actively engaged in discussions with the Trustee managing Tough Mudder US through its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and have reached a deal that is now subject to court approval. Spartan is in active discussions to engage some  former Tough Mudder US employees, with an aim to stand up as many US events as possible after the sale of the Tough Mudder US assets in its Chapter 11 case, which could be completed within the month.

About Spartan

With more than 250 events across more than 40 countries on six continents, Spartan is the world’s largest obstacle course race (OCR) and endurance brand. Providing transformation through sport, Spartan attracts more than one million annual participants across all fitness levels, from beginners to elite. More than five million participants have finished Spartan events, creating a lifestyle that extends beyond races including health and wellness products, training and nutrition programs, and popular media content, which has made OCR one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Spartan events feature races at various distances, Stadion and Sprint: 5k and 20 Obstacles; Super: 10k and 25 Obstacles; Beast: half marathon and 30 Obstacles; and Ultra: 50k and 60 obstacles. Visit spartan.com for more information and registration.

Spartan and Tough Mudder Have Agreement In Principle

The courts and Spartan have reached an agreement in principal.  The company is working quickly with the courts and creditors to get Tough Mudder back up and fully operational.

Obstacle Racing Media just received the following from Spartan Race HQ:

We’re actively engaged in discussions with the Chapter 11 trustee managing Tough Mudder through its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. We understand that Tough Mudder terminated its employees yesterday because it was no longer operating. After discussion with the Chapter 11 trustee, Spartan is in active discussions to onboard some ex-Tough Mudder employees to stand up as many events as possible after the company completes the sale of assets in its Chapter 11 case, which we hope and expect will take less than a month to complete.

Their talented team helped create one of the strongest fitness brands on the planet and we are excited to continue to journey with the same group that’s built an incredible brand.

Ultimately, the trustee and the courts still have to decide what is in the best interest of all the stakeholders. However, if all goes to Spartan’s current plan, the OCR community will get some Tough Mudder events in North America this year.

Spartan Race

Kyle McLaughlin and Giles Chater – Tough Mudder U.K. Update


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Tough Mudder Interview

Tough Mudder U.K. offices are back open and look to get tickets back online later this week. Kyle McLaughlin and Giles Chater sit down and talk about the latest news for the UK, US, and other regions. Also, they inform us that Will Dean will NOT be coming back.

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Listen using the player below or the links at the top of this page. 

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Tough Mudder U.K. “Back To Work”

Tough Mudder London West

We just received word from former Tough Mudder CEO Kyle McLaughlin that the Tough Mudder Europe team are back to work and are “restarting our engines over here”. He told us “We’ve resumed activity and operations and are aiming to have Europe ticket sales back online mid-week”. It appears that the 2020 Tough Mudder UK calendar will be completed in full, with the first Tough Mudder 5K happening on April 17-18 and the first Classic distance event taking place 40 miles west of London on May 9-10, 2020.

We reached out to Spartan CEO, Joe Desena who’s team have been working on the purchase of Tough Mudder. He told us “We have been leaning in for months and our goal is to have ticket sales up this week in Europe.  We are hoping to quickly see this happen globally in the coming weeks. We leave no athletes behind!”

Kyle also sent us a press release which describes the legal process currently taking place in the UK, which is allowing all of this to happen.

You can read it in full, below.

Update: 12:15PM EST – Video interview with Kyles and Giles

Michael Solomons and Andrew Pear of BM Advisory LLP, the specialist restructuring, recovery and insolvency firm, were appointed as Joint Administrators of Tough Mudder Ltd on 24 January 2020. The Administrators are continuing to trade the business with a view to selling the business and assets, including its wholly owned German subsidiary, Tough Mudder GmbH, as a going concern.

Spartan Race has generously supported Tough Mudder’s administration process with the necessary funding required to resume trading. The Joint Administrators have engaged both Giles Chater and Kyle McLaughlin, formerly of the Tough Mudder Ltd management team, to support the business going forward whilst a sale is achieved. Under the Administrators, ticket sales are planned to re-open mid-week and the Tough Mudder team returned to work today.

Michael Solomons of BM Advisory commented: “Tough Mudder has a very strong brand and presence in the obstacle race industry. I am confident that a sale of the business will be achieved shortly and envisage that a purchaser will move forward with plans to deliver all existing events in the 2020 European calendar.”

Similar proceedings are underway in Tough Mudder’s US and Canadian entities. Events in other countries are not currently impacted.

Parties interested in purchasing the business and assets of Tough Mudder Ltd should contact Bryn Carroll of Gordon Brothers on 020 7647 5141 or bcarroll@gordonbrothers.com.

Stay up to date with all of the Tough Mudder news, and how we got to this point here.