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Oriental Trading Company Acquires MindWare


Acquisition merges education with fun,
greatly expanding Oriental Trading's product offering

Omaha, Neb. – June 27, 2013 – Oriental Trading Company, Inc., the nation's largest direct retailer of value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, toys, novelties, and school supplies, today announced that it has acquired MindWare Holdings, Inc., a manufacturer, wholesaler, and direct retailer of "brainy toys for kids of all ages" based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Oriental Trading Company is a Berkshire Hathaway company with headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.

"MindWare's extensive selection of proprietary, award-winning educational toys, games, and books is the perfect addition to our product assortment," said Sam Taylor, CEO of Oriental Trading Company. "MindWare's offering includes over 1,000 educational products and will support our efforts to respond to the needs of educators and parents as we continue our mission to make the world more fun. We look forward to helping the MindWare team grow their brand and accelerate the pace at which they bring fantastic products to market."

Over half of MindWare's revenue is generated from exclusive, proprietary toys, games, and books the company has created. During the past two years, MindWare's proprietary products received 46 awards from nine different parenting organizations and publications, including Germany's highly prestigious "Spiel des Jahres" (Game of the Year) award for Qwirkle, a fun and educational game requiring tactical maneuvers and well-planned strategy. Most recently the company's Mine Shift game received the Mensa Select Award, one of the most prominent awards in the toy industry.

"We are thrilled to be able to add our games and toys to the many products offered by Oriental Trading," said Martin Smith, CEO of MindWare. "Like Oriental Trading Company, MindWare has grown from a small family business to a respected leader in its industry. With its broad customer base and large-scale, world-class technology and operations platform, Oriental Trading is clearly an excellent home for our educational products."

MindWare products are sold via the company's catalogs and www.mindware.com website, as well as by specialty and mass market retailers and internationally through distributors in over 35 countries. Select MindWare products will appear in Oriental Trading's catalogs and on the www.orientaltrading.com website this holiday season.


About Oriental Trading Company

Oriental Trading Company is the nation’s largest direct retailer of value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, toys and novelties, and a leading provider of school supplies and affordable home décor and giftware. Recognized as one of the Top 50 Catalog Companies and one of the Top 10 Online Retailers for Customer Satisfaction, Oriental Trading Company employs approximately 2,000 employees and offers more than 40,000 products to individuals, teachers, schools, churches, businesses and not-for-profit organizations. From pink flamingos, party supplies and wedding favors to holiday decorations, beading supplies and crafts, Oriental Trading Company makes the world more fun.

About MindWare

MindWare is an award-winning creator and manufacturer of Brainy Toys for Kids of All Ages. Its diverse product line includes educational toys, games, brainteasers, creative play activities, building sets, coloring books and more! The company was founded in 1990 with a small retail store in Minneapolis and has evolved into a direct-to-consumer catalog and website, along with its own wholesale division. MindWare products have won awards from such prestigious institutions as, Mensa, Major Fun, Parents' Choice, Good Housekeeping, and Disney FamilyFun. MindWare's top-selling product, Qwirkle, won Germany's highly prized "Spiel des Jahres" (Game of the Year) award in 2011. MindWare's proprietary products are to be found on the shelves of over 30,000 retailers worldwide. Consumers, educators and retailers have come to recognize MindWare as a trusted resource for their families, students and customers. www.mindware.com



Get Your Luau On for Fun and Prizes from Oriental Trading Company


Special Contest Celebrates National Luau Month

Omaha, Neb. – April 22, 2013 – Oriental Trading Company is inviting everyone to "Get their Luau On" this May in celebration of National Luau Month. As part of the festivities, Oriental Trading customers who register on the Oriental Trading Company website and upload photos of their luau celebrations will be eligible to win an ultimate luau celebration for friends and family. In addition, each week registrants will be entered into a drawing to win special luau party packs full of fun Oriental Trading luau products.

To inspire entrants, Oriental Trading Company's party experts are posting tips, project ideas and fun photos on the company website, and luau-themed products are on sale throughout the month.

"Luau is a universal theme that can be applied to a variety of creative, fun activities and celebrations," said Sam Taylor, CEO of Oriental Trading Company. "Anything can have a luau theme, from birthday, graduation and summertime parties to craft projects and wedding receptions. We're inviting our customers to have fun and get creative as they send us photos of their luau celebrations."

Entries will be accepted throughout the month of May. Entrants are asked to register at www.orientaltrading.com and upload photos with a short description of their luau celebration. Each week in May, ten entrants will receive special luau party packs full of Oriental Trading products. At the end of the contest, two grand prize winners will be chosen to receive an ultimate luau celebration for friends and family.


Berkshire Hathaway to Acquire Oriental Trading Company

Omaha, Neb. – November 2, 2012 – Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett and Oriental Trading Company President and CEO Sam Taylor today announced that Berkshire Hathaway will acquire Omaha-based Oriental Trading Company. The company is the nation’s largest direct retailer of value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, school supplies, toys and novelties. The transaction is expected to close by the end of November and is subject to the termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary closing conditions.

“Oriental Trading is a leader in its industry, has a strong management team and delivers exceptional customer value and service,” said Warren Buffet. “By increasing revenue, profits and the customer base over the last few years, Sam Taylor and the entire Oriental Trading team have successfully improved the business and positioned it for long-term growth. 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.”

“We are excited to have one of the nation’s most respected businesses take ownership of our company,” said Taylor. “Over the years Oriental Trading Company has grown from a small family business to a leader in online retail. Berkshire Hathaway recognizes the growth potential of our business and provides a permanent foundation for our long-term strategic initiatives to expand our product lines and leverage our world-class technology and operations platform.”

For over 80 years Oriental Trading Company has made it easy and affordable for everyone to celebrate, have fun, and express creativity throughout their lifetime. The company offers over 40,000 products—more than half of which are exclusive—at guaranteed lowest prices through its website and catalogs. Oriental Trading was featured on this year’s Emmy-winning CBS reality television series Undercover Boss and is one of the Top 10 Online Retailers based on customer satisfaction.

“Every day our dedicated Oriental Trading Company employees fill the orders of thousands of customers who depend on us to bring value, convenience and fun to their celebrations,” said Taylor. “Whether it is for an individual, school, church, business or not-for-profit organization, our commitment is to deliver products that meet and exceed the expectations of our customers. Being part of Berkshire Hathaway, one of America’s most respected names, will serve as an additional reminder for us to continually focus on our customers.”

Lazard Middle Market acted as financial advisors to Oriental Trading Company.

About Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway and its subsidiaries engage in diverse business activities including property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, utilities and energy, freight rail transportation, finance, manufacturing, retailing and services. Common stock of the company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, trading symbols BRK.A and BRK.B.

Cautionary Statement

Certain statements contained in this press release are “forward looking” statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are not guaranties of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those forecasted.

Contacts:

Berkshire Hathaway
Marc D. Hamburg
402-346-1400

Oriental Trading Company
Angela D. Drew
402-596-2647


Oriental Trading Company Announces Enhanced iPad App for Christmas

Making A List And Checking It Twice" Means Merriment For Mobile Consumers This Holiday

Omaha, Neb.– November 15, 2012 – Earlier this year Oriental Trading Company introduced its revolutionary iPad app offering a dynamic, unique shopping experience to assist consumers with their Halloween party planning. Today, Oriental Trading announces a new, enhanced version of the free app, available on iTunes, for the upcoming Christmas season. Once again, shoppers everywhere can conveniently use their iPad tablets to purchase Christmas party supplies, order gifts, stuff stockings, and have fun with over 40,000 products from the companyʼs vast assortment.

The streamlined usability and convenience of mobile shopping continues to resonate with consumers. Oriental Trading Company recognizes this revolutionary digital shift and is continually working to provide customers with innovative tools to make their shopping experience easy and fun. Since its initial launch in September, the Oriental Trading app has proven to be popular with consumers, consistently ranking among the most downloaded free catalog apps in the iTunes app store.

"Customer satisfaction remains our top priority," said Sam Taylor, CEO of Oriental Trading Company. "We listen to our customers and respond with complete solutions that meet their needs and provide value to their daily lives. The iPadʼs portability is a proven time-saver for our busy customers who are planning parties and events during the holiday season for their families, school classrooms, businesses, and churches."

Interactive enhancements to this newest version of the Oriental Trading iPad app include a Trim the Tree feature, holiday costume runway, enhanced zoom capability, increased social networking functionality, favorites lists, fun activities for families, plus many others.

  • Trim the Tree allows shoppers to select ornaments (to scale) with a swipe of the finger and position them on a beautiful Christmas tree in a home setting to create the perfect look. A clever in-app light switch can be flipped on to set the holiday mood once the tree is trimmed.
  • The swipable, interactive runway of Christmas costumes for kids and adults provides quick viewing of hundreds of dress-up options.
  • Enhanced zoom functionality breaks away from a visual bounding box, expanding the image across the entire iPad screen for greater viewing detail.
  • Decorate Your Own functionality provides endless entertainment for kids as they dress penguins, design sugary sweet gingerbread houses, and create their own sticker scenes.
  • Stop action video feature is reminiscent of traditional Christmas movies.
  • Favorites and social networking features allow customers to create lists of favorites products, drag and drop their favorites into the shopping cart, and share their favorites with friends and family through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and email.

The companyʼs www.orientaltrading.com website offers guaranteed lowest prices on over 40,000 products, half of which are exclusive and cannot be found in stores. To provide additional savings for mobile shoppers, Oriental Trading has included a free shipping offer within the app.

"We are driven by our mission to make it easy and affordable for everyone to celebrate, have fun, and express creativity throughout their lifetime," Taylor stated. "Offering the new iPad app to our customers is one more way to help them save time and money this holiday season."

Oriental Trading Company is ranked #7 among the Top 100 Online Retailers for Customer Satisfaction, is one of the Top 50 Catalog Companies, and by the end of the month will become a Berkshire Hathaway company.


Oriental Trading Company to Be Featured on CBS's "Undercover Boss," Friday, March 9

CEO Sam Taylor Goes Undercover on the Hit Reality Series

Omaha, Neb. - Tuesday, February 7, 2012 - Hidden behind a disguise so effective he was unrecognizable by even close colleagues, Oriental Trading Company CEO Sam Taylor recently went undercover to learn more about his company. The results of this first-ever, behind-the-scenes look inside the nation's largest direct retailer of party supplies, arts and crafts, toys and novelties will air Friday, March 9 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on CBS's hit series Undercover Boss.

The upcoming episode marks a number of "firsts" for the hit CBS reality series. Oriental Trading is the first E-commerce/catalog retailer to be featured on the program, as well as the first company from Nebraska. This is also the first time all of the front-line jobs highlighted in the show occur within the same facility. Taylor worked alongside veteran employees within Oriental Trading Company's 750,000 square foot, state-of-the-art fulfillment center, receiving a firsthand look at what it takes to process thousands of orders each day.

"We stock millions of items and fulfill millions of customer orders each year, so it is no small task to pick, pack, and ship our customers' orders accurately, efficiently and on time," Taylor said. "I learned a lot and gained new respect for the hard work our employees put forth every day. Due to their efforts and productivity improvements, Oriental Trading is able to offer an outstanding customer experience, as well as guaranteed lowest prices on all our products."

Situated on a 120 acre parcel, the company's world-class fulfillment center boasts the capacity to house over 100 million items, contains over four miles of conveyors, and utilizes a specialized tilt tray sorter which travels at a speed of 415 feet per minute and processes over 40,000 units per hour. The sorter is the fastest of its kind in North America, and the fulfillment center ranks among the top five in the U.S. for unit volume shipped out of a single facility. Driven by technology investments and talented employees, Oriental Trading maintains a 99.8% on-time delivery rate and 99.9% unit accuracy.

"We know that our highly engaged employees are generating industry-leading customer loyalty," Taylor said. "I am grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go undercover and work with our employees to identify ways we can make their jobs easier and transform Oriental Trading into an even better place to work."

Each week, the two-time Emmy Award nominated UNDERCOVER BOSS follows a different executive as they leave the comfort of their corner office for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of their companies. While working alongside their employees, they see the effects their decisions have on others, where the problems lie within their organizations and get an up-close look at both the good and the bad while discovering and rewarding the unsung heroes who make their companies run.

Press contact: Angela Drew

adrew@oriental.com

BURGERS AREN'T THE ONLY THING FLIPPING WHEN THE BOSS OF THE FAST FOOD CHAIN CHECKERS & RALLY'S IS FORCED TO MAKE A DRASTIC DECISION, ON "UNDERCOVER BOSS," ON A NEW NIGHT, FRIDAY, FEB. 17 AT 8:00 PM

Additional Companies Going Undercover This Season Include AMERICAN SEAFOODS, POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN and ORIENTAL TRADING COMPANY

CHEAT TWEET: The Boss of Checkers & Rally's has a beef with 1 of his restaurants on #UndercoverBoss, New Night Fri, 2/17 @ 8pm,ET/PT http://bit.ly/zwbRht

"Checkers & Rally's" - Rick Silva, President and CEO of Checkers & Rally's, one of the nation's largest fast food chains, serving more than two million hamburgers a week, travels to the front lines of his industry, where he's forced to make a drastic decision regarding one of his restaurants, on UNDERCOVER BOSS, which moves to its new night, beginning Friday, Feb. 17 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Among the additional companies whose bosses will go undercover this season are:

  • Friday, Feb. 24 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT): American Seafoods (Bernt Bodal, Chairman and CEO)
  • Friday, March 2 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT): Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (Lynne Zappone, Chief Talent Officer)
  • Friday, March 9 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT): Oriental Trading Company (Sam Taylor, CEO)

The most recent original episode of UNDERCOVER BOSS, which featured Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates (Jan. 29), was first in viewers (13.06m), tied for second in adults 25-54 (4.2/09) and averaged 3.0/07 in adults 18-49. This was the series' best viewer performance since Jan. 16, 2011, best adults 25-54 delivery since March 27, 2011 and matched the season premiere's adults 18-49 ratings.

Each week, the two-time Emmy Award-nominated UNDERCOVER BOSS follows a different executive as they leave the comfort of their corner office for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of their companies. While working alongside their employees, they see the effects their decisions have on others, where the problems lie within their organizations and get an up-close look at both the good and the bad while discovering and rewarding the unsung heroes who make their companies run.

UNDERCOVER BOSS is produced by Studio Lambert. Stephen Lambert, Eli Holzman and Chris Carlson are executive producers.

Oriental Trading Company Introduces Digital Catalogs on iPad

Digital offering puts efficient and convenient shopping at busy consumers' fingertips

Omaha, Neb. - December 9, 2011 - Oriental Trading Company, Inc., the nation's largest direct retailer of value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, toys and novelties, and a leading provider of school supplies and affordable home décor and giftware, has introduced new digital catalogs that busy consumers may access via their iPads. Three different digital holiday catalogs are currently available, both for consumers and for businesses. The company plans to launch digital versions of party, crafts, school supplies, and wedding catalogs over the next several weeks.

Available through a partnership with Catalog Spree, Oriental Trading customers may flip through the digital catalogs page by page on their iPads, just as if they were paging through the print versions. Users can browse thousands of items at unbeatable prices, zoom in on products, obtain detailed product information, and then purchase the items safely and securely on the orientaltrading.com website. The digital catalogs have search functionality to assist customers in quickly finding products they are looking for. Customers may also mark their favorite items, place digital bookmarks, and easily share catalogs and products with their friends on Facebook or via email.

"Our customers are technically savvy and have grown to expect convenience and value. Making our catalogs available in a portable digital format offers them the flexibility to manage their holiday event planning and gift giving more efficiently and cost effectively than ever before," said Sam Taylor, CEO of Oriental Trading Company. "Our customers prefer tablets to smart phones for shopping, and as more consumers incorporate the iPad into their daily lives, we want to give them easy shopping options via this important mobile platform."

Catalog Spree is a "discovery" platform for shoppers, providing a free app that customers may use to access Oriental Trading Company digital catalogs. In addition to being easy and fun to use, this digital offering provides consumers with an eco-friendly way to shop.

"Our focus on the user experience continues to drive more consumers and more content to our offerings, and has made us the most popular and highest-rated catalog shopping app on the iPad," said Joaquin Ruiz, chief executive officer and co-founder of Padopolis, creators of Catalog Spree. "We are pleased to partner with Oriental Trading Company to make their catalog experience available on the iPad." To download the free Catalog Spree app and view the Oriental Trading Company catalogs, please visit http://CatalogSpree.com


Oriental Trading Company Introduces Mobile Site

Efficient and convenient shopping at the fingertips of consumers on the go

Omaha, Neb. - November 23, 2011 - Oriental Trading Company, Inc., the nation's largest direct merchant of value-priced party supplies, arts and crafts, toys and novelties, and a leading provider of school supplies and affordable home décor and giftware, today announced the launch of its mobile commerce site. Designed in partnership with mobile platform company Usablenet, the new mobile site is designed to enhance the mobile shopping experience for busy consumers who choose to purchase through their smart phones and mobile devices.

"Consumers are technically savvy and have grown to expect retailers to deliver convenience and value directly to their mobile platforms. Oriental Trading's enhanced mobile commerce site gives them the ability to manage their holiday event planning and gift giving more efficiently than ever before from their iPhone®, Android® Blackberry®, and other mobile devices with internet browsers," said Sam Taylor, CEO of Oriental Trading Company. "Just in time for this busy holiday season, we are pleased to offer consumers on-the-go a way to conveniently take advantage of Oriental Trading's guaranteed lowest prices on holiday party supplies, crafts, toys and novelties."

"With smartphone adoption in the U.S. surging toward 50% and more shoppers turning to their mobile devices to research products and make purchases, it's essential for retailers to offer their customers a seamless way to shop on-the-go," said Nick Taylor, CEO of Usablenet. "The new optimized mobile site from Oriental Trading provides customers an efficient and engaging mobile shopping experience anytime, anywhere."

Press contact: Angela Drew

adrew@oriental.com


Oriental Trading Company Donates $100,000 to Red Cross for Local Flood Relief

Red Cross and Oriental Trading Company Recognize Flood Relief Efforts

Omaha, Neb. - Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011 - This morning Oriental Trading Company presented the American Red Cross with a $100,000 donation to support ongoing local flood relief efforts. They also came together to thank local schools and churches who hosted Red Cross shelters this summer due to Missouri River flooding.

Oriental Trading Company presented representatives from the Nebraska and SW Iowa schools and churches with a special assortment of school spirit and Sunday school supplies as a thank you. "Oriental Trading Company is demonstrating compassionate care through this generous act and we are so very grateful," said Tina Labellarte, CEO of the Nebraska/SW Iowa Region of the American Red Cross.

"Even though the flood waters are receding, the need for assistance continues," said Sam Taylor, CEO of Oriental Trading Company. "We want to join the Red Cross in thanking the many people who have stepped up to help out during the summer, and we urge others to accept the call and provide whatever help you can as our friends and neighbors continue to put their lives back together after this summer's flooding."

Press contact: Angela Drew

adrew@oriental.com