New Zealand forestry company Earnslaw One will become one of the country’s biggest forest owners following a deal to acquire 33,000ha in the East Coast.

The company, owned by Malaysia’s billionaire Tiong family, has agreed to buy Huaguang Forests’ assets from receiver Ferrier Hodgson.

Earnslaw One, which already has 53,000ha of forests in New Zealand, plans to build a sawmill near Gisborne to process the trees, most of which are radiata pine. The facility would cost about NZ$30-40m and create 100-200 jobs.