Warren Buffett Wants to Make the World More "Fun"

Warren Buffett Wants to Make the World More "Fun"
Getty Images

It isn't a big-game elephant, but Warren Buffett has captured a smaller "party" prize.

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway announced today it has acquired privately-held Oriental Trading, based in Buffett's home town of Omaha, Nebraska.

The company is described as "nation's largest direct retailer of value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, school supplies, toys and novelties."

In the news release, Buffett praises the company's "strong management team" and "exceptional customer value."

"We are delighted to have them join the Berkshire Hathaway family and continue their quest to make the world more fun. They have had several changes to ownership in the past, but OTC has a permanent home with Berkshire Hathaway."

That's a reference to the company's emergence from bankruptcy 18 months ago under shareholders led by the private equity firm KKR.

It is unusual for Buffett to buy from PE firms.

Oriental Trading CEO Sam Taylor tells the Berkshire-owned Omaha World-Herald "the stability that Berkshire Hathaway offers Oriental Trading cannot be overstated," calling past management changes a "huge distraction" for management and employees.

Berkshire isn't saying how much it is paying, but the Wall Street Journal puts the price tag at around $500 million.

Oriental Trading joins other Berkshire retailers including Nebraska Furniture Mart and Borsheim's Fine Jewelers.

In a live CNBC interview just over a week ago, Buffett told us he's "salivating" for a "big acquisition" in the area of $20 billion, recalling his 2011 comment that he had a loaded "elephant gun" and an "itchy trigger finger."

This doesn't qualify, so presumably he's still on the hunt.

Keep up with Warren Buffett on CNBC.com and follow alexcrippen on Twitter.

Email comments to buffettwatch@cnbc.com