The remains of high street chain Clinton Cards has been snapped up by an American greetings cards firm in a deal saving 397 stores and 4,500 jobs.
Ohio-based American Greetings, which has been one of Clinton's biggest suppliers, will take on the brands and assets of the retailer, which collapsed into administration a month ago.
Zolfo Cooper, the administrator, has already announced the closure of around 350 stores, costing the jobs of nearly 3,000 full- and part-time staff.
American Greetings placed itself in pole position to buy the chain after it snapped up Clinton's £35 million bank debt, making it a preferential creditor and giving it a strong position in sale talks.
The US company's UK Greetings operation, which is based in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, has the brands Camden Graphics, Hanson White, Forget Me Not and Xpressions and supplies outlets including major supermarkets.
The final number of stores acquired will be dependent on negotiations with landlords at each location.
Its chief executive Zev Weiss said: "We are pleased to welcome these stores, the Clinton Cards brand, and the approximately 4,500 employees as members of the American Greetings family.
"We believe that properly managed, and with the appropriate capital structure, Clinton Cards can be both an important and profitable retailer in the speciality channel of distribution over the long term."
Zolfo Cooper partner Peter Saville said there was a strong underlying business, with the company paying the price for "excessively ambitious" expansion plans and the impact of intense competition.
Zolfo said it would now focus its efforts on the store portfolio identified for closure three weeks ago. The first 44 stores out of 350 lined up for closure shut at the end of last month. The stores being sold made £212 million in sales last year, out of a total of £360 million across the two brands of Clinton Cards and Birthdays.