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Ex-High Liner CEO to head Bregal-backed Blue Harvest

The seafood company was launched three years ago, with US buyout firm Bregal Partners acting as sponsor.

Blue Harvest Fisheries, a harvester and distributor of sustainable seafood products based in Massachusetts, has named Keith Decker as its new president and chief executive.

Decker, whose experience in the seafood industry spans more than two decades, joins Blue Harvest from Canadian seafood company High Liner Foods, where he served as president and chief operating officer between 2008 and 2015 and, most recently, as chief executive. Prior to that, Decker worked for Fishery Products International.

He succeeds Jeff Davis, who is retiring from day-to-day operations, having led the company since it was founded in 2015. Davis will continue to serve as chairman of the board and will be involved in strategic initiatives.

“Jeff Davis is a visionary leader within the seafood industry and he was instrumental in building Blue Harvest from an idea to what it is today,” said Scott Perekslis, managing partner and co-founder of Bregal Partners, the New York-based private equity firm that sponsored the formation of Blue Harvest in 2015.

Blue Harvest initially began as a sustainable harvester of Atlantic sea scallops with the acquisition of eight scallop vessels and related shore assets from the Peabody Corporation. It has since expanded its line of products to include the sales and distribution of cod, flatfish, tuna and swordfish through strategic acquisitions. In September 2016, it also acquired High Liner Foods’ scallop business and processing facility in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Bregal Partners did not disclose the amount of capital it has invested in Blue Harvest. The firm was not immediately available for comment.

Part of Bregal Investments, Bregal Partners has $600 million in committed capital and invests in mid-sized companies in North America across the energy services, consumer, food and retail sectors.