A BUYER has been found for Clintons Cards shops in Wokingham and Bracknell - but one is still being sought for Birthdays in Bracknell.

It was announced today (Wednesday) that Lakeshore Lending Limited, a subsidiary of American Greetings Corporation, is buying 397 stores, after the chain of 784 Cliton Cards and Birthdays stores was placed into administration in May.

In Bracknell, 10 people are employed at the Clintons in Charles Square and six in Birthdays in Princess Square, while seven people work at Clintons in Wokingham's Market Place.

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." Zolfo Cooper said the sale includes the brands and assets of Clinton Cards stores, which contribute approximately �212 million in annual revenues. It said approximately 4,500 jobs across the UK would be saved.

Zolfo Cooper had previously identified 44 Clintons and Birthdays stores to close by the end of last month, with the loss of 300 staff and 66 in the chain's head office in Loughton, Essex.

It said efforts would now focus on the stores not included in the sale to Lakeshore Lending Ltd, and the administrators would welcome expressions of interest from anyone interested in buying the whole or part of the estate.