Briggs & Stratton announced that KPS Capital Partners, LP, through a newly formed affiliate, has acquired substantially all of the assets of Briggs & Stratton Corporation and certain of its wholly-owned subsidiaries.
KPS acquired the assets free and clear of substantially all liens, claims, encumbrances and interests through a sale under Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri formally approved the transaction on Sept. 15, 2020. With the completion of the sale to KPS, the Acquired Business 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 leading global private equity investor with a demonstrated 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 to create world-class, industry-leading companies.
Briggs & Stratton 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.
Briggs & Stratton also announced that Steve Andrews has been named President and chief executive officer of Briggs & Stratton effective immediately. 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’s ownership and Andrews’s 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.
Michael Psaros, co-founder and co-managing partner of KPS, said, “This is the beginning of a new era for Briggs & Stratton, a legendary brand in American manufacturing and the leading company in its industry. 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’s 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 at 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,” Psaros added.
Andrews said, “I am honored to lead Briggs & Stratton. 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,” Andrews said.
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.