Photo by Briggs & Stratton Corp.
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Briggs & Stratton Exits Chapter 11 with New Owner and CEO

Sept. 29, 2020
Briggs & Stratton announced that KPS Capital Partners LP, through a newly formed affiliate, has acquired substantially all the assets of Briggs & Stratton Corp. and certain of its wholly owned subsidiaries.

Briggs & Stratton announced that KPS Capital Partners LP, through a newly formed affiliate, has acquired substantially all the assets of Briggs & Stratton Corp. and certain of its wholly owned subsidiaries. KPS acquired the assets free and clear of liens, claims, encumbrances and interests through a sale under Section 363 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri formally approved the transaction on September 15. With the completion of the sale to KPS, Briggs & Stratton has successfully exited from its Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proceeding.

Briggs & Stratton will now operate as an independent company with the long-term support of KPS, a global private equity investor with a track record of successfully transforming businesses and creating profitable, growing companies. KPS, with approximately $11.5 billion of assets under management, works to advance the strategic position, competitiveness and profitability of its investments, it said.

Briggs & Stratton re-launches as a well-capitalized company, unencumbered by more than $900 million of its predecessor’s legacy obligations, and access to the financial resources required to execute its ambitious business improvement and growth plans.

Briggs & Stratton also named Steve Andrews president and CEO of Briggs & Stratton effective immediately. KPS and Andrews have a history of working together to create, operate and grow world-class businesses. KPS and Andrews partnered in 2011 to form International Equipment Solutions LLC. Under KPS’ ownership and Andrews’ leadership, IES, through a series of acquisitions and other growth initiatives, transformed two non-core divisions of a large corporation into a highly profitable company, KPS said. IES became a leading independent manufacturer of attachment tools, operator cabs and other complex 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,” said Michael Psaros, co-founder and co-managing partner of KPS. “The company has a new owner, a new CEO, a new board of directors and a renewed focus. Briggs & Stratton launches with a portfolio of products sold under industry leading iconic brand names, a rock-solid capital structure and access to KPS’ financial resources and expertise. We look forward to accelerating the company’s growth by increasing its already substantial investment in research and development, technology and new product development. KPS will also provide the capital for Briggs & Stratton to pursue strategic acquisitions.

“KPS is delighted that Steve Andrews will serve as president and CEO of Briggs & Stratton. Steve is an outstanding leader with a demonstrated track record of transforming and growing companies. We have worked successfully with Steve in the past and look forward to collaborating again as the new Briggs & Stratton. We are grateful to all of the company’s stakeholders for their assistance and cooperation throughout the bankruptcy process. We thank the United Steelworkers for its very public support of our acquisition of the company.”

“Free of any legacy liabilities, and with a strong balance sheet and the company’s world-class workforce, we have an exceptional opportunity to build upon the company’s leading market position,” said Andrews. “I am also pleased to partner and collaborate again with KPS, a firm that has distinguished itself as a global leader in transforming businesses and is ideally suited for this exciting venture. On behalf of the company, I would like to thank former chairman, president and CEO Todd Teske for his decades of service and many contributions.”

KPS created IES in 2011 with the acquisition of Paladin and Crenlo from Dover Corp., according to the Milwaukee Biz Times. The transaction generated $290 million in proceeds for Dover. After making additional acquisitions in 2012 and 2015, KPS exited the investment in 2019. Two business units were sold to Stanley Black & Decker for $690 million in cash and other businesses were sold to NPK Construction Equipment and 454 Angeles Equity Partners.

Wells Fargo is continuing to provide floorplan financing to support Briggs & Stratton’s customers and a syndicate of banks including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, BMO Harris Bank and PNC Business Credit provided exit financing for the company.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal counsel to KPS with respect to the transaction.