Briggs to acquire Australian firm

Milwaukee-based Briggs & Stratton Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Victa Lawncare Pty. Ltd. of Sydney, Australia, from GUD Holdings Limited, for $22 million in cash, subject to adjustments. Briggs & Stratton’s subsidiary Briggs & Stratton Australia Pty. Limited is a party to the transaction.

Victa Lawncare is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of outdoor power equipment used in consumer lawn and garden applications in Australia and New Zealand. Its products are sold at large retail stores and independent dealers.

Victa Lawncare had net sales of $56 million for the nine months ended March 31, 2008 and anticipates net sales of approximately $64 million for the 12 months ending June 30. Briggs & Stratton anticipates financing the transaction from cash on hand and/or its existing credit facilities. The transaction is targeted for closing at the beginning of Briggs & Stratton’s fiscal 2009 first quarter, at which time Victa Lawncare will become a subsidiary of Briggs & Stratton Australia Pty. Limited.

"The acquisition brings together two of the leading companies in outdoor power products in Australia and New Zealand, and allows each company to continue to employ its core competencies. Briggs & Stratton will continue to focus on supplying engines to consumer and commercial power customers in Australia and New Zealand, and Victa Lawncare will continue to manufacture and market lawnmowers for its customers," said Todd Teske, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Briggs & Stratton Corp.

"This is a very positive outcome for Victa customers and for Briggs & Stratton. The Victa business has benefited from low-cost components, new product development and broader distribution strategies in recent years. Victa’s brand strength and current operational performance can only add to the strength of a company like Briggs & Stratton," said Ian Campbell, GUD Holdings’ managing director.

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