Warren Buffett Buys Oriental Trading Company

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett already owns companies related to insurance, newspapers, jewelry and many other areas of interest. Now you can add party planning to the mix since Berkshire Hathaway and the 82-year-old investor will soon acquire Oriental Trading Co.

We learned this past Friday from Warren Buffett that Berkshire Hathaway Inc., his investment firm, will buy Oriental Trading which is based out of Omaha, and it’s the largest direct retailer of over 40,000 discounted party goods. The estimated cost of this purchase is in the neighborhood of $500 million.

Oriental Trading is a mail-order company that specializes in selling school supplies, novelties, toys, crafts and general party supplies. They recently filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the year 2010 because they were burdened by a large debt load and lower consumer spending plus higher costs really hurt the company.

Last year, Oriental Trading re-emerged when company restructuring took place and the majority shareholder, KKR & Co., bought the business with other investors. Previously, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm known as Brentwood Associates owned the business before selling it to the Carlyle Group during 2006.

It is expected that the Berkshire Hathaway deal will close by the end of November.

Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway have bought other businesses this year. They bought most of Media General Inc.’s publications, and this is only a month after he picked up the Omaha World-Herald, which is his hometown paper. Berkshire Hathaway’s other subsidiaries are Helzberg Diamonds, See’s Candies, International Dairy Queen Inc. and GEICO Auto Insurance.

Warren Buffett was also placed second on the list of the wealthiest Americans, where we learned he is worth $46 billion. He is second only to Bill Gates who is currently worth $66 billion.

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