Blue Star acquires large US crabmeat importer

Blue Star Foods acquired Coastal Pride Company, an importer of crabmeat from Mexico and Latin America, in late November. Coastal sells more than two million pounds of pasteurized and fresh crabmeat annually.

The acquisition of Coastal, made via Blue Star’s wholly-owned subsidiary, John Keeler & Co., was for USD 394,622 (EUR 356,000) in cash, plus promissory notes worth a combined USD 710,000 (EUR 641,000), and nearly 1.3 million shares of common stock in Blue Star Foods.

“Blue Star has a long-term strategy to build a vertically integrated, geographically diverse, multi-species, sustainable seafood company. We took great care in determining which company we should partner with first, and we believe Coastal Pride is the ideal first acquisition for our company,” Blue Star Foods Chairman and CEO John Keeler said in a press release.

Blue Star has traditionally been “very strong in providing consistent and premium Portunus species from Southeast Asia to the marketplace” while Coastal Pride has been “very strong in their sourcing of Callinectes species from Mexico and South America,” Keeler said.

“On a combined basis, we expect to be a one-stop-shop for customers who want major categories of pasteurized & fresh crabmeat under the same umbrella,” he added. “The Lubkin family has been running Coastal Pride for two generations lead by their patriarch, Walter Lubkin Jr., who has created an impressive company that we can build upon. We believe Coastal Pride has developed tremendous value in their brands, including Lubkin’s Coastal Pride, Lubkin’s First Choice and Lubkin’s Good Stuff, which are known in our industry as premium and well-respected products.”

Coastal Pride President Frank Lubkin said that the supplier will “continue to independently manage our business, but there are obvious operating and financial synergies that we believe will make our two companies stronger. These synergies can be found throughout the value chain, from sourcing, processing, financing, compliance, traceability and sales.”

Coastal Pride executives were also impressed with Blue Star’s technology platform, “which has certain business analytics that we think can help us grow our business faster with a clearer picture on how to navigate this marketplace.”

Blue Star executives did not respond to a SeafoodSource inquiry for comment by press time.

Logo courtesy of Blue Star Foods


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