Briggs & Stratton sold to KPS, names new CEO in wake of bankruptcy filing

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Updated Sep 26, 2020

Vanguard EnginePrivate equity firm KPS Capital Partners has finalized its purchase of all assets of Briggs & Stratton, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July.

Wisconsin-based Briggs & Stratton filed for voluntary reorganization in U.S. bankruptcy court at the time, reporting it had secured $677.5 million in financing to continue operations during the sale and reorganization process. In July, the company’s then-CEO Todd Teske cited the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic as leading to the decision to file for bankruptcy.

Briggs & Stratton says it will now operate as an independent company with the long-term support of KPS, which has a reported $11.5 billion of assets under management. The company further states it launches “as a well-capitalized company, unencumbered by over $900 million of its predecessor’s legacy obligations, and access to the financial resources required to execute its ambitious business improvement and growth plans.”

Steve Andrews has been named Briggs & Stratton’s president and CEO. KPS and Andrews previously partnered in 2011 to form International Equipment Solutions, which manufacturers attachment tools, operator cabs and other fabrications for off-highway applications.

“This is the beginning of a new era for Briggs & Stratton, a legendary brand in American manufacturing and the leading company in its industry,” says Michael Psaros, co-founder and co-managing partner of KPS. “Briggs & Stratton launches with a portfolio of industry-leading products sold under iconic brand names, a rock solid capital structure and access to KPS’ financial resources and expertise.” He also noted KPS would fund Briggs & Stratton’s ability to pursue strategic acquisitions.

Psaros also thanked the United Steelworkers for “its very public support of our acquisition.”

Wells Fargo will continue to provide floorplan financing to support Briggs & Stratton’s customers.

Briggs & Stratton brands include Allmand light towers and generators, Ferris mowers and Vanguard engines.