Marlees Seafood – A promising marriage has soured into a dock fight

Three years ago, John Lees was looking to expand his seafood business in New Bedford. Prices for scallops were skyrocketing and Lees sensed the time was ripe to make a big move. So it appeared fortuitous when, seemingly out of nowhere, a Lithuanian business tycoon offered to buy a majority stake in Lee’s company, Marlees Seafood, which the veteran fisherman founded 27 years ago out of the back of his car. “They told me they wanted to buy up the entire industry,” Lees recalled of the offer from Julius Numavicius, whose family members are owners of a holding company with retail interests throughout Europe. “I was looking at becoming a big part of something. This was going to give me the scale that I believed I needed.” more@bostonglobe 13:01

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