Scott Perekslis pursuing takeover of American Seafoods, Blue Harvest as Bregal announces selloff
Bregal Investments Co-Founder Scott Perekslis is leaving the firm to make a bid to purchase its seafood holdings.
On 16 May, the New York City-based private equity fund announced Perekslis will leave his role as the fund’s managing partner effective 8 October, 2023. As a result, Bregal Investments will divest from its Bregal Partners Fund I portfolio companies, which include Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.-based pollock- and hake-fishing firm American Seafoods, New Bedford, Massachusetts, U.S.A.-based groundfish fishing firm Blue Harvest Fisheries, and West Coast Salmon, a land-based salmon farm under development in the U.S. state of Nevada.
“Upon strategic review, Bregal Investments and Bregal Partners have decided to pursue the realization of their interests in all companies in the Bregal Partners I portfolio, a 2013 vintage fund. Bregal Investments leadership, with advice from Lazard, will work with portfolio company management teams to manage the realization process for the Bregal Partners I portfolio,” Bregal Investments said in a press release.
Perekslis is leaving the fund to organize an effort to take over its seafood industry assets, according to one source with knowledge of the situation. Perekslis previously served as board chair of Bumble Bee Holdings and Connors Bros and currently serves on the boards of American Seafoods, Blue Harvest, and West Coast Salmon.
Before founding Bregal Partners in 2012, Perekslis was a senior partner of Centre Partners Management, which at one point owned Bumble Bee Seafood. He also worked in the mergers and acquisitions department of Lazard Freres.
In 2016, Perekslis led Blue Harvest’s effort to move into the U.S. scallop sector with the acquisitions of Newport News, Virginia-based Peabody, and Harbor Blue, Hygrade Ocean Products, and High Liner Foods’ scallop business, all located in New Bedford, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Blue Harvest has reversed course in recent years, selling off its scallop vessels and shifting to groundfish fishing.
In 2019, Bregal Partners sought to sell its stake in American Seafoods, but was unsuccessful. Einar Gustafsson, who was appointed as the company’s CEO in February 2022, had no comment when contacted by SeafoodSource.
In 2020, Bregal-backed West Coast Salmon announced its intention to build a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) farm in Nevada, to eventually produce up to 50,000 metric tons of Atlantic salmon annually. But West Coast Salmon, which switched RAS technology providers from AquaMaof to PR Aqua in February 2022, has not yet broken ground on the project
West Coast Salmon’s former CEO, Henrik Krefting, left the company in November 2022, and its senior vice president and director of construction and site management, John Hansen, was let go in February 2022, according to their posts on LinkedIn. Hansen said the project had been “unsuccessful in securing additional funding for the USD 400 million [EUR 370 million] land-based salmon farm project in northern Nevada.
Perekslis did not respond to SeafoodSource’s request for comment.
Photo courtesy of Bregal Partners