Briggs to sell turf products businesses
By Mike Brezonick16 March 2020
As part of Briggs & Stratton Corp.’s planned strategic repositioning, the company said it will focus on its global expertise in power application and create a simpler organisation through divestitures of the majority of the businesses within the company’s Products Segment.
The manufacturer said priority is being placed on divesting the turf products business headquartered in the US, as well as the pressure washer and portable generator product lines.
The turf products business includes lawn, garden and turf care equipment sold under the Ferris, Billy Goat, Simplicity, Snapper and Snapper Pro brands.
Briggs said the repositioning will enable it to focus its businesses, with expected annual sales of approximately $1 billion in the design, production and sale of Briggs & Stratton residential engines, Vanguard commercial engines, Briggs & Stratton standby power generation, and Vanguard commercial battery systems.
“An in-depth analysis to more deeply understand the impact of market trends on our business portfolio has led us to focus our resources and energies to drive more sustained growth and higher risk-adjusted returns,” said Todd Teske, Chairman, President and CEO. “We are pursuing a repositioning of the company to simplify our portfolio around our foundational expertise in power application.”
He added , “Throughout this process, our mission has remained the same: to provide power to people to make work easier and improve lives. We will do this by providing innovative and diverse power solutions and a superior support network.”
J.P. Morgan has been engaged to arrange the company’s debt refinancing and has separately been retained to advise on the divestiture of the turf products business. Briggs & Stratton said it expected those assets would be sold by the end of this year, “but we’re not going to rush the process,” said CFO Mark Schwertfeger.
A day before this announcement, Briggs & Stratton announced a strategic supply agreement with a large manufacturer of light electric vehicles to power a new line of lithium-ion vehicles with the company’s Vanguard Commercial Battery System, beginning in June.
“Briggs & Stratton continues to collaborate with industry leaders and provide power solutions as a leader in power application,” said Dave Rodgers, the company’s Senior Vice President and the President of its Global Engines and Power. “We’re excited to add another premier customer and further expand the applications we power with the new Vanguard Commercial Battery System.”
This agreement follows Briggs & Stratton’s announced agreement in October 2019 with ARGO to power its all-new Rover Xtreme Terrain electric unmanned ground vehicle.
As a result of increasing demand, Briggs & Stratton also announced it will open a new Advanced Battery Manufacturing facility in Tucker, Georgia, US. Initially, four production lines will be operational within the new 7,250m2 facility, which has capacity to accommodate future growth.
“This facility is in addition to the current production space located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which going forward will serve as a developmental facility to support the influx of interested customers in a wide range of markets, including lawn and garden, military, construction, municipal, and golf and leisure,” Rodgers said.