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article imageBriggs & Stratton files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection

By Karen Graham     Jul 20, 2020 in Business
Another icon of post-war American suburbia went bust as Briggs & Stratton Corp. declared bankruptcy, felled by weak sales, too much debt and a final push over the edge from the coronavirus pandemic.
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin-based Briggs & Stratton has been around sice 1908 and is the world’s biggest maker of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment. The company's engines are used in lawnmowers, pressure washers, electrical generators, and other products.
On Monday, the gasoline engine company announced it had voluntarily entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and agreed to be sold to private equity firm KPS Capital for $550 million, according to The Street.
The bankruptcy filing took place in a St. Louis bankruptcy court on Monday, citing debts of more than $1 billion. KPS Capital Partners has promised to keep Briggs & Stratton in business, but without the crushing debt that had plagued the company recently.
In a statement, Todd Teske, Briggs & Stratton's Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Over the past several months, we have explored multiple options with our advisors to strengthen our financial position and flexibility. 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."
Teske added, "We have a storied past and a bright future, built on our foundational expertise in applying power. 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."
The arrangement with KPS Capital Partners does not include any of Briggs & Stratton’s international subsidiaries. Briggs & Stratton products are designed, manufactured, marketed, and serviced in over 100 countries on six continents, according to the company.
More about Briggs & Stratton, Bankruptcy, coronavirus, KPS Capital, Small businesses
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