Briggs & Stratton files for Chapter 11, enters sales agreement

Briggs Stratton

Briggs & Stratton Corporation has entered into a definitive stock and asset purchase agreement with KPS Capital Partners.

To facilitate the sale, Briggs & Stratton filed for voluntary reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Briggs & Stratton has also obtained $677.5 million in DIP financing, with $265 million committed by KPS Capital Partners and the remaining $412.5 from the company’s existing group of ABL lenders.

“Over the past several months, we have explored multiple options with our advisors to strengthen our financial position and flexibility,” said Todd Teske, Briggs & Stratton’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.

“The challenges we have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic have made reorganization the difficult but necessary and appropriate path forward to secure our business. It also gives us support to execute on our strategic plans to bring greater value to our customers and channel partners. Throughout this process, Briggs & Stratton products will continue to be produced, distributed, sold and fully backed by our dedicated team.”

Under the agreement, an affiliate of KPS has agreed to acquire substantially all of Briggs & Stratton’s assets and assume certain customer, employee and vendor liabilities. The affiliate will also act as the stalking-horse bidder through a court-supervised sale process. The sale agreement is subject to higher or better bids from other potential buyers.

Following court approval, the DIP facility will ensure the company has the liquidity required to continue normal operations and to meet its financial obligations during the Chapter 11 process, including the timely payment of employee wages and health benefits, continued servicing of customer orders and shipments, and other obligations.

Briggs & Stratton believes this process will benefit its employees, customers, channel partners and suppliers. This filing does not include any of Briggs & Stratton’s international subsidiaries.

Briggs & Stratton was created more than 110 years ago by inventor Stephen F. Briggs and investor Harold M. Stratton to produce gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment. Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the company’s brands include Simplicity, Snapper, Ferris, Vanguard, Allmand, Billy Goat, Murray, Branco and Victa.

“We have a storied past and a bright future, built on our foundational expertise in applying power,” Teske said.

“Our portfolio of innovative engines, robust lines of products, and high-performance commercial batteries positions Briggs & Stratton to meet our global customers’ needs for power to get work done, now and in the future.”