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June 20, 2006 > Carlyle Group to buy Oriental Trading

Carlyle Group to buy Oriental Trading

OMAHA, Neb. (AP), Jun 13 - Private equity firm The Carlyle Group announced Tuesday that it plans to buy Oriental Trading Co., a direct marketer of novelties, toys, party supplies and home decor, for an undisclosed amount.

Oriental Trading, based in Omaha, is one of the largest catalog and Internet retail operations in the country. The firm has more than 18 million customers on file, mails 300 million catalogs annually, operates three Web sites, and offers more than 25,000 products, according to a Carlyle news release.

"The company has all the attributes we like in a consumer investment: leading market position, exceptional brand loyalty, extensive proprietary customer base, consistent growth and strong free cash flow,'' said Sandra J. Horbach, Carlyle managing director and head of its consumer and retail team. "Carlyle's global network, especially in China, will enable us to add value through enhancing vendor relationships and direct sourcing capabilities.''

The privately-held Oriental Trading has approximately 3,000 employees throughout its facilities in Omaha, Fremont and Underwood, Iowa.

The Carlyle Group is buying the Omaha company from another private equity firm, Brentwood Associates of Los Angeles, which bought Oriental Trading in 2000 and will maintain a minority stake in the company.

The terms of the transaction have not been released. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter this year.

"This news could not be more positive,'' Oriental Trading CEO Steve Frary said. "Carlyle's enthusiasm for our company, its global network and exceptional consumer experience will provide the best possible support to continue to expand our business and achieve our growth plans.''


On the Net:

Oriental Trading Co.:

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