Spartan Race announced the acquisition of an exclusive option to acquire Tough Mudder’s UK, Canadian, and German events. It’s the first step in an effort to bring together a complete merger of the two obstacle course race leaders.

According to a statement from Spartan Race, Tough Mudder events in those countries will continue to be operated by the same team and under the same brand, but they will be part of the larger Spartan family of brands and events. Tough Mudder associates and participants in the UK, Germany, and Canada will be able to continue on with their Tough Mudder adventure.

“This is a goal we’ve had for some time,” said Spartan CEO and founder Joe De Sena. “Tough Mudder UK, Canada, and Germany bring a unique experience, and putting the success of the two together strengthens our global mission of getting 100 million people off the couch.”

Under Spartan ownership, Tough Mudder UK, Canada, and Germany events will focus on teamwork-based, non-competitive festival events. The competitions will be handled by Spartan.

Spartan will continue to work with Tough Mudder’s founders, Will Dean and Guy Livingstone, in efforts to complete the acquisition and renewal of Tough Mudder’s U.S.-based events and operations in the coming days.

“I look forward to creating a lasting partnership with Will and Guy as we seek to complete the merger,” De Sena said. “I’m excited about the prospect of what we can do together, as one team.”

An article from Obstacle Racing Media noted that Kyle McLaughlin, CEO of Tough Mudder since July 2019, had stepped down on December 20. The article noted that Tough Mudder had faced challenges paying vendors towards the end of 2018 but appeared to be turning around in 2019. However, the report noted that Tough Mudder tickets for events in North America were no longer on sale on December 23, when Spartan made its announcement on a planned merger. Tickets remain unavailable.

In a note on January 3 to the Tough Mudder ambassador community announcing his resignation and attained by Obstacle Racing Media, McLaughlin indicated Tough Mudder’s business had been improving but couldn’t comment more on Tough Mudder’s status other than to say negotiations between Tough Mudder’s shareholders and Active Networks are ongoing.

McLaughlin wrote in part, “As I am no longer a Tough Mudder employee, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to give any more context as to the background or causes. What you should know, is that it was entirely avoidable, is still solvable, and will require parties to put self-interest aside and pursue one of the many paths forward for the greater good.”

Photo courtesy Spartan Race