A decline in sales blamed on the coronavirus pandemic has forced iconic small engine manufacturer Briggs and Stratton to file for bankruptcy protection in the United States.
The company was founded in Milwaukee in 1908 and is now the largest maker of petrol engines for outdoor power equipment.
Briggs and Stratton motors are common workhorses on Australian farms.
The company has filed for Chapter 11 in the US Bankruptcy Court which included details of a bid by New York private equity firm, KPS Capital Partners, to buy all of Briggs and Stratton's assets for about $US550 million.
It promised to keep Briggs and Stratton in business.
The company employs around 5000 people worldwide and has debts of about $1 billion.
Briggs and Stratton had been battling tough competition from rivals like Honda and Kawasaki but the Covid-19 pandemic was the final straw.
The KPS offer could be bettered by a rival bidder for the company which is based in Wauwatosa not far from the centre of Milwaukee.
Briggs and Stratton's chairman, president and chief executive officer Todd Teske said the challenges posed by COVID-19 had made re-organisation a tough but necessary step to secure the business.
"Throughout this process Briggs and Stratton products will continue to be produced, distributed, sold and fully backed by our dedicated team," he said.
The story Coronavirus sends iconic engine maker to the bankruptcy court first appeared on Farm Online.