After more than six months of living "on edge" 450 Claymark employees are breathing a sigh of relief after news that their jobs are safe.
The local business, that produced radiata pine wood products for export, was tipped into receivership last December after coming under capital pressure.
However, this week an agreement for the sale as a going concern was confirmed and the 450 jobs on the line were saved.
Claymark operated sites in Katikati, Rotorua and Thames, and utilised contractors and services from across the Bay of Plenty region.
The receivers - Brendon Gibson, Grant Graham and Neale Jackson of Calibre Partners – said in a statement on Tuesday they had signed an agreement for the sale of the company's business and assets as a going concern.
A consortium led by Paul Pedersen had bought the business, with settlement set down for September 30.
Receiver Neale Jackson said it was within the purchase agreement that the new buyer offer employment to all 450 current employees.
E tū union official Derek Tarawa said the employees they represented were "over the moon" following the news after living for months "on edge".
He said all of their Claymark members had families to support and for some, they had been there for close to 20 years, meaning the loss would have taken a huge toll.
"Some were worried about facing difficulty when it came to finding new employment."
Staff had known about the potential sale for about three months and were set to meet the new owners next week, he said.
"There are no ill feelings towards the previous owners and the team has been running the place to a high standard throughout this entire process.
"The open-door policy with management has made a huge difference for us and our members."
First Union also had a number of local employees as members and they were meeting about the development on Friday.
Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Bryce Heard said the new buyer had been "active in the forestry industry for a long time" and had a "strong track record".
"They are well-experienced ... if anyone will get the business humming again it's them."
He said it was always sad to hear local businesses going under but this was a good result for Rotorua's economy.
Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association of New Zealand chief executive Jon Tanner said this sale was "vitally important" for both the local economy and domestic sector as a whole.
He said it was a "big relief" for many and it was hugely positive to see people investing in the wood sector.
Claymark was responsible for supplying many businesses in the central North Island and the domestic market would have felt the loss hard, he said.
In saying this, the industry was facing tough times with log prices and exports with the current climate and it was an "interesting time" for a purchase, he said.
Rotorua forest management company Timberlands Limited sales manager Tim Tombleson said the sale, as a going concern, was great news for the local community, particularly for those employees affected.
He said they looked forward to discussing ongoing supply with the new owners.
Senior economist and trade expert John Ballingall said high log prices, tariffs and trade barriers posed huge challenges for the sector and paired with a global recession, the challenges for the domestic market were huge right now.
Commercial builds locally and abroad had been halted meaning there was less demand for New Zealand wood products, he said.
However, he said it was a good opportunity for investors to buy an existing business at a good price now.
The Government needed to focus heavily on its trade recovery plan and negotiating trade deals to ensure the industry could "stay competitive", he said.
Receiver Brendon Gibson said in the statement: "This is an excellent outcome for the business, staff, customers, suppliers and the communities in which Claymark operates."
Buyer Paul Pedersen said the team was excited that the acquisition of the Claymark business had come to fruition.