Briggs & Stratton’s decision to move production of a number of product lines to facilities in New York State will result in the elimination of 120 jobs for employees of the staffing firm Adecco.
Wauwatosa-based Briggs announced last week it would move production of lawn tractors, residential zero-turn mowers, snow throwers and pressure washers to facilities in Munnsville and Sherrill, New York that are located within 10 miles of each other.
Briggs said the move would eliminate around 200 union and 40 salaried positions in Wisconsin but the company would add 125 jobs in New York State.
According to a notice sent to state officials, a total of 228 Briggs positions will be eliminated by the decision including 184 employees represented by United Steelworkers Local 2-232. The company said it would cease production in Wauwatosa around Aug. 28 and operations would wind down completely by the end of the year.
Jacksonville, Florida-based Adecco also sent a notice to state officials that another 120 of its employees working at Briggs’ North 124th Street plant would have their jobs eliminated as a result of the decision.
Adecco said that Briggs attributed the production shift to “the dramatic impact that COVID-19 is having on the business.”
In announcing the decision last week, Briggs said moving the work to New York State would allow for a more streamlined operation.
Briggs is also in the process of attempting to sell many of its product businesses to allow it to focus on its engines business and new opportunities in the application of power. While Briggs & Statton chairman, president and chief executive officer Todd Teske said there was strong initial interest in the product businesses, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered the state of the M&A market.
Teske told analysts in May that the company believes it could still generate more than $200 million in proceeds from the sale of the businesses.
“Whether the market allows for that in the timing that we talked about is a different situation,” he said. “We continue to make sure that we’re going to get paid for the value that we’ve created through that business.”
The timing of the sale, however, could be important. When Briggs originally announced the plan to sell the products businesses, the plan was to use proceeds to cover around $195 million in debt maturing in December.
Earlier this month, the company said it had chosen not to make a $6.7 million interest payment due on June 15, taking advantage of a 30-day grace period.
Besides the potential sale, the company has said it is working on a parallel track to raise additional capital to handle the December debt maturity.