Billionaire financier Warren Buffett already has his hands in newspapers, jewelry, insurance and other holdings. Now, with the acquisition of Oriental Trading Co., the 82-year-old can add party planning.
Buffett said Friday that his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. firm will buy Omaha-based Oriental Trading, the largest direct retailer of more than 40,000 discount party goods, for an undisclosed sum. Berkshire Hathaway is also headquartered in Omaha.
The mail-order merchant, which sells supplies, crafts, school supplies, toys and novelties, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010, burdened with a huge debt load, and suffering from low consumer spending and higher costs.
Oriental Trading emerged from restructuring last year, bought by majority shareholder KKR & Co. and others. Earlier, the company was owned by Los Angeles-based private equity firm Brentwood Associates before being sold to the Carlyle Group in 2006.