The company that organises the Global Challenge now in the hands of administrators 11/10/06

Nigel Morrison and Richard Hawes, partners in Grant Thornton UK LLP, have been appointed joint Administrators of The Challenge Business International Limited (the Company or Challenge), a company established by Sir Chay Blyth to organise the Global Challenge round-the-world yacht race.

The company also runs and participates in a number of other yachting events such as the Round Britain and Ireland Challenge, Transat Challenge, entering yachts in the Rolex Fastnet Race, and organising corporate yachting events. The first Global Challenge race, The British Steel Challenge took place in 1992 to 1993 and the race has now been run four times.

The Company’s turnover fluctuated seasonally and year-on-year since sales were materially affected by whether a major racing event fell within the financial year. It was founded in 1989 and is based in Southampton with technical support facilities in Plymouth.

Nigel Morrison of Grant Thornton commented: “The business model for the company required that the Global Challenge series attracted heavyweight title holder sponsorship, which proved impossible for the last race in 2004-5. The Company has worked hard to find a sponsor for the next race in 2008-9, but with no success it was forced to announce the postponement of the next Global Challenge race. Cashflow became difficult to manage as the Company entered into the Autumn with very few events scheduled until next Spring.”

Nigel Morrison added: “Our intention is to establish shortly whether there is a possibility for a going concern sale of the business or whether it will be necessary to realise the assets of the company separately. Challenge’s assets comprise largely of the 18 bespoke yachts used in the Challenge series of events and include Aviva, the yacht that was recently sailed by Dee Caffari in her successful campaign to become the first woman to sail non-stop the wrong way around the World. Currently the Company owns five 67ft yachts and 13 72ft yachts, all of which have featured in the Challenge Series.”