KPS to buy Briggs&Stratton, this is the news that has brightened the powertrain business sky, obscured by the clouds of lockdown. The Covid-19 was particularly inauspicious for the Milwaukee-based engine maker. The company had in fact launched into a courageous restructuring of the portfolio, which relaunched the Vanguard prices and proposed the Battery Pack. The Vanguard Engines & Battery Power was an event full of surprises. Unfortunately, the coronavirus apocalypse came as an axe to cut the good business intentions.
KPS Capital Partners to buy Briggs&Stratton
This is where KPS comes in, intent on re-launching and asserting Briggs&Stratton’s harmony with the OEMs. KPS is the manager of the KPS Special Situations Funds, a family of investment funds with approximately $11.5 billion of assets under management (as of June 30, 2020).For further information, we would like to re-launch the press release, which dates back to 23 September.
Briggs & Stratton, a recognized global leader in providing power to get work done, announced today that KPS Capital Partners, LP (“KPS”), through a newly formed affiliate, has acquired substantially all of the assets of Briggs & Stratton Corporation and certain of its wholly-owned subsidiaries (collectively, “Briggs & Stratton”, the “Company” or the “Acquired Business”). KPS acquired the assets free and clear of substantially all 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, 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.
Steve Andrews is the new CEO
Briggs & Stratton also announced that Steve Andrews has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Briggs & Stratton effective immediately. KPS and Mr. Andrews have a history of successfully working together to create, operate and grow world-class businesses. KPS and Mr. Andrews partnered in 2011 to form International Equipment Solutions, LLC (“IES”). Under KPS’ ownership and Mr. 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.
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’ 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,» Mr. Psaros concluded. Mr. 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,» Mr. Andrews concluded. 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.