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

Marcia Gruver Doyle Pix

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.