Briggs and Stratton Files for Bankruptcy

The small-engines manufacturer is selling off its assets in order to stay operational. Learn more here.

Courtesy of Briggs and Stratton

Small-engine manufacturer Briggs and Stratton announced on Monday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will be selling off most of its assets.

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Briggs and Stratton is the world’s largest maker of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment, providing engines for companies including Deere and Co. and Husqvarna. In a press release announcing the filing, the company assured customers that they would remain operational and functional despite their financial situation.

“Briggs & Stratton believes this process will benefit its employees, customers, channel partners, and suppliers, and best positions the Company for long-term success,” the release said.

This news comes on the heels of reports in late June that Briggs and Stratton’s board of directors decided to skip a $6.7 million interest payment while voting to give executives and other key employees cash retention awards totaling more than $5 million.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the day before the bankruptcy was announced, the Briggs and Stratton board also voted to terminate health care benefits for 450 former workers while simultaneously ending life-insurance protection for 4,000 more former workers.

The filing includes a bid for more than half a million dollars from New York private equity firm KPS Capital Partners. The money will keep Briggs & Stratton operational despite the company’s debt. According to the press release, that debt and the impact of COVID-19 on product sales drove Briggs and Stratton’s decision to file for bankruptcy.

“Over the past several months, we have explored multiple options with our advisors to strengthen our financial position and flexibility,” said Todd Teske, Briggs and Stratton’s chief executive officer. “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.

Teske went on to assure that the filing would not significantly change day-to-day operations. “Throughout this process, Briggs & Stratton products will continue to be produced, distributed, sold and fully backed by our dedicated team,” he said.