The PBGC expects to take over the two pension plans of Murray Inc., Brentwood, Tenn., and become trustee of the plans within several weeks, said Gary Pastorius, PBGC spokesman. The PBGC estimates Murray's plans are 53% funded, with combined assets of $131 million to cover $246 million in liabilities. Mr. Pastorius said the agency estimates it will be liable for about $103 million of the $115 million shortfall.
Murray filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Nov. 8 and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Nashville on Thursday is scheduled to consider the firm's proposed $125 million asset sale to Briggs & Stratton Corp., Wauwatosa, Wis. Tom Adkinson, Murray spokesman, said he believes Briggs & Stratton would not assume the pension plans as part of its bid. James E. Brenn, Briggs & Stratton senior vice president and CFO, did not return a call seeking comment by press time.
"The PBGC is stepping in because Murray's two pension plans face abandonment after the company liquidates," PBGC Executive Director Bradley Belt said in a statement.