Clinton Cards parent company American Greetings has been taken private by its founding and controlling family in a deal estimated at $878m.

The Weiss family deal includes the greetings card company’s debt and settlement of stock options which accounted for $298m of the $878m.

The family – which includes chief executive Zev Weiss, chairman Morry Weiss and chief operating officer Jeffrey Weiss – and affiliates controlled more than 50% of the company’s voting shares.

American Greetings, based in Cleveland, Ohio, bought Clintons out of administration in June last year and runs the UK retailer through its Schurman Retail Group arm.

American Greetings, which was founded by Polish immigrant Jacob Sapirstein, went public in 1958.

American Greetings reported a loss of $809,000 in the third quarter to November 23, compared with a $20.2m the previous year.