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DREAMS stores in Portsmouth, Havant, Waterlooville and Fareham have been sold out of administration.

The bedroom chain, which was started by Spitbank Fort owner Mike Clare and sold to private equity firm Exponent in 2008, has been part-bought by Sun Capital Partners from administrators Ernst & Young.

The deal means more than 1,600 jobs in 171 Dreams shops have been saved, as well as those at its head office in High Wycombe and two of its factories.

However, there are still 400 jobs still at risk as 95 stores were not included in the sale.

E&Y administrator Alan Hudson said: ‘High street retailers have faced unprecedented conditions over recent years and the market for higher value discretionary purchases has been particularly tough.

‘Dreams is a well-known market leader, but in common with many others has suffered as a result of this depressed retail environment, a rapid expansion of its store portfolio and onerous lease liabilities.’

Mr Clare started the business in 1986, remortgaging his home to do so. He sold it for more than £200m.