The founder of the MK One budget clothing chain bought around 100 of its stores from administrators yesterday.

Deloitte & Touche sold the sites to Jet Star Retail - a company connected to Mark Brafman, who began MK One in 1985.

The sale - for an undisclosed sum - is likely to safeguard hundreds of jobs among the group's 2,500 staff, although Deloitte refused to comment.

Deloitte - appointed as administrators to the struggling business last week - has already cut 39 jobs at the group's head office. The sale represents more than half of MK One's 172 stores.

Partner Lee Manning said: "We will continue to trade the remaining stores under the MK One banner whilst exploring the available options."

MK One fell into administration just weeks after it was sold by its former owner, Icelandic investment firm Baugur.

Retail restructuring specialist Hilco, which specialises in acquired under-performing business and turning them around, snapped up the troubled group at the beginning of the month, again for an undisclosed sum.

But it didn't work out.

MK One, which sells budget clothing for women, girls and teenagers, has been loss-making, although Baugur said it decided to offload the firm as it "no longer fitted into the portfolio".

Other clothing chains have also suffered in recent tough trading conditions. Liverpool-based discount fashion group Ethel Austin was also put into administration in April before being bought by Elaine McPherson, a former MK One boss.