Gift firm Red Letter Days was yesterday rescued from administration in a deal involving one of founder Rachel Elnaugh's colleagues on the hit TV show Dragons' Den.
Entrepreneur Peter Jones teamed up with former Millwall chairman Theo Paphitis to purchase the goodwill and assets of the company which collapsed on Monday night.
The deal threw a lifeline Red Letter Days' employees as well as thousands of customers who hold vouchers for activities such as hot air ballooning and bungee jumping.
In a statement, Mr Jones and Mr Paphitis pledged to honour all Red Letter Days vouchers that have been purchased directly from the company using Visa and Mastercard, as well as from business-tobusiness customers.
The new owners said: "We have provided this critical financial support since we hope that people will continue to buy Red Letter Days experiences from today onwards through our website safe in the knowledge that they will all be honoured."
Talks will now be held with suppliers to ensure that they will continue to make their facilities available "so that individuals with current vouchers can rebook and enjoy the experiences they have purchased", they said.
Red Letter Days went into administration after it suffered "cash flow difficulties" that could not be resolved without further investment.
A number of suppliers had stopped accepting vouchers in the past week due to unpaid bills.
Kroll confirmed that a number of third parties had expressed an interest in buying the company, but said a sale of the business to the AIC bid vehicle of Mr Jones and Mr Paphitis provided the "best offer for creditors".
Andrew Pepper, of Kroll, said the pair had paid an undisclosed sum to take control.
"We are very pleased to have completed the sale for Red Letter Days quickly, thereby removing any confusion and uncertainty about its future," he said.
"Red Letter Days has an outstanding brand in the gift experience market and the finalisation of the going concern sale of the business will effectively secure the future of this business and should save the employees' jobs."
Mr Jones is chairman and chief executive of Phones International Group, which he founded in 1998 and generated revenues of £110 million last year.
Accounts filed with Companies House showed that Mr Jones, who started his career in business at just 16-yearsold, by launching a tennis academy, paid himself almost £1 million last year.
In yesterday's statement, Mr Jones and Mr Paphitis said they had managed to secure the position of a "substantial number of our voucher holding customers".
Red Letter Days, which earlier this year announced an intention to float on the stock market, was set up by Ms Elnaugh at the age of 24 while working as a freelance tax consultant.
The firm offers vouchers for more than 1,000 activities, such as piloting a jet fighter, climbing Mount Everest and learning to cook with a celebrity chef.
Its vouchers are sold online and at department stores such as Harrods, Selfridges and House of Fraser. The company claims that more than 90 per cent of FTSE 100 firms use Red Letter Days as incentives to their staff and customers.