Blue Star Foods Corp., Miami, Fla., through its operating subsidiary John Keeler & Co., Inc., acquired Coastal Pride Co., Inc., a Beaufort, S.C.-based seafood company that specializes in importing pasteurized and fresh crabmeat primarily from Mexico and Latin America.

“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. The Lubkin family has been running Coastal Pride for two generations led 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,” says John Keeler, chairman and CEO. “Blue Star has traditionally been very strong in providing consistent and premium Portunus species from Southeast Asia to the marketplace, and Coastal Pride has been very strong in their sourcing of Callinectes species from Mexico and South America. On a combined basis, we expect to be a one-stop-shop for customers who want major categories of pasteurized and fresh crabmeat under the same umbrella.”

“We are going to 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,” says Frank Lubkin, president of Coastal Pride. “We 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.”

“We are excited about partnering with Blue Star, and believe in the long-term vision of what Blue Star is trying to build in the public markets. The majority of the consideration paid to Coastal Pride was in the form of equity in Blue Star, so our family and employees are now shareholders in the combined company,” says Tracey Lubkin Greco, chief financial officer of Coastal Pride.