Company exits Chapter 11, has “rock solid capital structure” under new ownership
Briggs & Stratton announced that KPS Capital Partners, LP, through a newly formed affiliate, has acquired substantially all of the assets of Briggs & Stratton Corp. and certain of its wholly owned subsidiaries for approximately $550 million.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri formally approved the transaction on Sept. 15 and the transaction was completed Sept. 22, ending Briggs & Stratton’s 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. Briggs & Stratton said it relaunches 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.
The company also announced, as previously reported, that Steve Andrews was named president and chief executive officer of Briggs & Stratton, effective Sept. 22. He succeeds Todd Teske, who had been chairman, president and CEO since 2010 and had served in other senior management positions after joining the company in 1996.
KPS and Andrews have a history of successfully working together to create, operate and grow world-class businesses. KPS and Andrews partnered in 2011 to form International Equipment Solutions, LLC (IES). 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 thriving, highly profitable company. 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 industry-leading products sold under 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.”
Andrews has extensive experience in the industry, including as president and CEO of Pettibone from 2007 to 2011. Prior to that, he was vice president and general manager of Hendrickson, and began his career in 1989 as an account executive at Dana.
“I am honored to lead Briggs & Stratton,” Andrews said. “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. 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.”
Briggs & Stratton is one of the world’s largest producers of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment, and is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of commercial lithium-ion batteries, power generation, pressure washer, lawn and garden, turf care and job site products through its Briggs & Stratton, Simplicity, Snapper, Ferris, Vanguard, Allmand, Billy Goat, Murray, Branco, and Victa brands.