Administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers have sold off the majority of Adams Childrenswear to a newly established firm backed by John Shannon, ex-chairman of Stead & Simpson and Country Casuals.

The sale - the price of which has not been revealed - will ensure more than 273 UK stores will stay in operation, saving more than 3,200 jobs. However, the administrators have shut 42 branches belonging to the company.

Adams' holding company Myriad Childrenswear - plus fellow subsidiary TU Childrenswear - will not be affected by the transaction.

PricewaterhouseCoopers partner and joint administrator Rob Hunt said the sale was "particularly encouraging against a background of negative retail sentiment".

Hunt said Adams will continue to service and expand its international franchise network as well as its sourcing for third-party retailers.

"If we had not been able to complete this transaction it is highly likely that significantly more store closures and redundancies would have occurred," he added. 
Nuneaton-based Adams has a yearly turnover of GBP200m (US$391.30m). The company operates more than 300 UK stores as well as its franchised stores.

The company has been struggling to retain its strength in the past few years which has led to cash-flow difficulties. However, it was reported in October last year that its board had been strengthened and the firm was now on track to expand its operations.

After being bought by management - with backing from Bridgepoint Capital - in 1999, the company was then put up for sale in December 2006, as reported by just-style.