Blue Harvest closes deal for New Bedford seafood business

Published on
August 2, 2016

Blue Harvest Fisheries and its owner, Bregal Partners, formally closed its purchase of New Bedford, Massachusetts-based Hygrade Ocean Products, a transaction originally reported by SeafoodSource in March.

The closing of the deal was announced Tuesday, 2 August, in a press release. Besides scallops, Hygrade processes scallops, cod, flounder, swordfish and tuna at its 33,000-square-foot facility, according to its website. In an interview with SeafoodSource in March, Bregal’s managing partner Scott Perekslis declined to provide the terms of the deal.

“We are pleased to have assisted Blue Harvest with this transformative strategic initiative,” Perekslis said in Tuesday’s press release. “Blue Harvest is a great example of our firm’s strategy; we seek to partner with seasoned management teams to build world class businesses.”

Blue Harvest CEO Jeff Davis said the purchase will help his company vertically integrate its seafood operations.

“By vertically integrating, Blue Harvest can now provide its customers with greater product traceability, quality assurance, and variety. The acquisition of Hygrade is consistent with our strategy of building a vertically integrated premium seafood company,” Davis said. “We are thrilled to welcome the employees of Hygrade to the Blue Harvest family. We expect to continue to expand our product portfolio to better serve our customers and we remain committed to sustainable, wild-catch fisheries.”

Perekslis said the acquisitions of Hygrade and of Harbor Blue, also in March, secure access to the U.S. Atlantic sea scallop on the East Coast of the United States.

"The U.S. Atlantic sea scallop is unique. The word gets overused but it's appropriate in this case, as those scallops are very large," Bregal Partners managing partner Scott Perekslis said in an interview with SeafoodSource. "The U.S. is the only place in the world you can get under 10 count per lb., and 10 to 20 per lb. are in abundance. So there really isn’t an aquaculture substitute, and that’s what like about it: It's got high value and there really aren’t any comparisons to it."

Dechert LLP served as the legal advisor to Blue Harvest for the Hygrade acquisition, while Guggenheim Corporate Funding, LLC arranged senior financing.

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