Milwaukee-area engine maker Briggs & Stratton files for Ch. 11 bankruptcy

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WAUWATOSA, Wis. — Briggs & Stratton Corp., billed as the world’s largest manufacturer of small gas engines, has filed for bankruptcy protection citing challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Milwaukee-area company says Monday that as part of the Chapter 11 filing it has secured secured debtor-in-possession financing of $677.5 million from KPS Capital Partners LP, the private equity firm purchasing its assets, and its existing lenders.

It says that will allow it to continue operating ahead of closing the deal. The company was founded in Milwaukee in 1908 by Stephen Foster Briggs and Harold M. Stratton. Its engines are used in lawnmowers, pressure washers, electrical generators and other products.