Veteran seafood executives team up on sea scallop venture
Longtime industry veteran executive Jeff Davis, former CEO of American Seafoods, is now at the helm of Blue Harvest Fisheries, which has acquired eight Virginia-based fishing vessels and related shore assets from the Peabody Corp.
Davis, who also served as CEO of Baader North America Corp, and BlueAqua Seafoods, has been seeking to invest in the seafood industry for the past several years. He is the founder and senior managing partner of International Seafood Partners (ISEA Partners), a global seafood industry investment consultation service.
With private investment firm Bregal Partners in New York, Davis is assembling a board of directors that will include Chris Lischewski, CEO of Bumble Bee Foods, and Jonathan Thorpe, chief investment and strategy officer of the Central Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association.
“The North Atlantic Sea Scallop is the largest and highest quality scallop in the world,” said Jeff Davis. “The acquisition of Peabody’s well-maintained fleet grants Blue Harvest access to a world-class resource and will serve as a platform for the company’s growth in the scallop industry. We view this transaction as a first step; we are actively seeking to acquire additional vessels to grow our fleet.”
“Sustainable fishing practices are of the utmost importance to Bregal Partners and our investors,” said Scott Perekslis, managing partner and co-founder of Bregal Partners.
“The Atlantic sea scallop fishery is extremely well managed, as evidenced by its Marine Stewardship Council certification. We are excited to become involved in this important, valuable, and sustainable fishery, and we look forward to building on our more than decade-long relationships with Jeff, Chris, and Jonathan as we all work to support the continued growth of the Blue Harvest platform. Jeff’s role on the board of the Marine Stewardship Council gives us confidence that the Company will follow best-in-class industry practices.”
Dechert LLP served as the legal advisor to Blue Harvest, while TD Bank and Rockland Trust provided senior financing for the acquisition of Peabody’s assets and the formation of Blue Harvest.