Clinton Cards has been sold to Lakeshore Lending, a subsidiary of Carlton Cards’ brand owner, American Greetings Corporation.
The sale comprises the brands and assets of Clinton Cards, including 397 stores (see pdf link below) contributing approximately £212m in annual revenues.
According to Clinton Cards’ adminstrators, Zolfo Cooper, the deal will preserve approximately 4,500 jobs across the UK.
Peter Saville, joint administrator and partner at Zolfo Cooper, said: “We have always been of the view that despite an intensely competitive retail environment and what proved to be excessively ambitious expansion plans in recent years, there was a strong underlying business contained within Clinton Cards.
“The significant number of credible expressions of interest we received for the business we have sold today, from both trade and financial buyers alike, is testament to this fact. We would like to thank the staff for their dedication and patience throughout what has been an understandably difficult time for all concerned and we wish both them and the new owners of the business every success for the future.”
Zev Weis, chief executive officer at American Greetings, 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.
“As mentioned before, we believe that properly managed, and with the appropriate capital structure, Clinton Cards can be both an important and profitable retailer in the specialty channel of distribution over the long term. The separation of the acquired assets and business from the legal entity in administration is an important first step of this process. We have also lined-up a leadership team to run the new UK subsidiary that has extensive specialty retail channel experience.”
Zolfo Cooper said it will now focus its efforts on the store portfolio identified as part of the closure programme announced on 16 May 2012 (see pdf link below) and would continue to welcome expressions of interest for this part of the estate, as a whole or in part.
Clinton Cards and its subsidiaries, including Birthdays Retail, went into administration on 9 May 2012.
At the time, the group was the UK‟s largest specialist retailer of greetings cards with in excess of 750 stores and 2011 revenues of over £360m across its two retail brands, Clinton Cards and Birthdays.