More than 200 jobs at a mussel processing plant in Tauranga are safe thanks to a deal brokered by the company's receivers.
North Island Mussel Processors (NIMPL), the operators of a $23million processing plant in Greerton, has been in receivership for almost a month and has now been re-invented as North Island Mussels. The new company includes large mussel farms in the Coromandel area.
Two of the original owners of the plant, fishing giants Sealord and Sanford, have assumed joint ownership of the new company.
The two partners will work with the receivers and the plant's existing staff to ensure the processing facility is operating before the mussel season starts in the middle of this month.
Sealord chief executive Graham Stuart said buying the Greerton plant was important in continuing the development of the Coromandel mussel industry.
"We are pleased the NIMPL team will continue to be able to work with us to deliver quality products to our customers," he said.
Sanford managing director Eric Barratt said the new partnership would include the two companies' mussel farming businesses, as well as the processing plant.
"New Zealand has an excellent international reputation for our greenshell mussels and this deal allows us to further build on export opportunities through a seamless supply chain from sea to plate."
Soon after taking control of the company on September 6, the receivers, William Black and Andrew Grenfell of McGrathNicol, advertised the business for sale as a going concern.
A look on the Companies Office website shows Sealord and Sanford wasted little time in securing the future of the plant, setting up the new company by September 11.
The plant's general manager Steve Wells said staff were relieved with the new ownership announcement. "It's a good outcome for the future," he said.