SEATTLE, Feb. 11, 2011 – Garvey Schubert Barer represented BSAI Partners, LLC in the acquisition of the fishing vessels and fishing rights interests of Wards Cove, a Seattle-based seafood company. BSAI Partners is jointly owned by Siu Alaska Corporation and Coastal Villages Pollock, LLC, wholly owned subsidiaries of the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC) and Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF), respectively. The acquisition of Wards Cove includes seven trawl and one crab vessel, as well as ownership in nearly 4 percent of the pollock quota.
“This deal was a win for both parities in that it will provide additional opportunities for the people of Western Alaska while maintaining a commitment to sustainability and responsible harvest of Alaska’s seafood resource,” said Stephen Johnson, an owner at Garvey Schubert Barer, who led the BSAI Partners legal team.
The purchase of assets involved approximately two years of negotiations and included multiple transactions between the principals, as well as several additional deals with minor parties and negotiation of bank loans.
“Although this wasn’t the biggest fishing industry transaction we have done, it was undoubtedly the most complex,” added Johnson, who was assisted on the BSAI Partners deal by Garvey Schubert Barer Owners Brent Jones, Bruce King, Sara Sandford and Stephen Rose and by Associates Andy Aley and Elisabeth Yandell McNeil.
About BSAI Partners:
BSAI Partners, LLC is a joint company formed by subsidiaries of NSEDC and CVRF, which are Community Development Quota (CDQ) groups. The CDQ program, a federal fisheries management program that promotes fisheries-related economic development in Western Alaska, is comprised of six groups. Since it began in 1992, the CDQ program has generated more than $500 million in revenues and funded docks, harbors and the construction of seafood-processing facilities in the region. It allows Western Alaska communities to benefit from the pollock, cod and crab resources of the Bering Sea, providing funding for economic development, education, employment, and training programs in the region.