"A deal which will breathe new life into three key US textile trade fairs in line with the spectacular development of the North American market," is the way the trio of leading French exhibition organisers - AFPFT-Expofil, Comexpo Paris and La Federation de la Maille - describe their forthcoming takeover of events previously run by the American National Knitwear and Sportswear Association.

It was in October that the French partners announced their intention of forming a new American-based company to take over the trading assets of NKSA.

Once the agreement has been finalised on December l5, the new company will be responsible for operating the Yarn Fair International, CADexpo Plus, and Knit West & Sew, all of which were previously run by NKSA.

It will also take responsibility for all the seminars previously run by NKSA along with its Internet services.

The Yarn Fair International, held annually in New York, is the only specialist textile yarn fibre exhibition in North America, while CADexpo showcases computer aided design equipment.

Knit West & Sew, founded in l998, is a biennial event based in Los Angeles. As its name suggests it shows both machinery and materials of particular interest to knitwear manufacturers operating on the American west coast.

Each of the trio forming the new operating company for these American fairs has wide experience in the field of exhibition organisation. AFPFT (The French Textile Yarn Promotion Association) handles Expofil, which since 1979 has run two shows a year in Paris and now has a 50 per cent stake in Filasia, the first session of which took place in Hong Kong in l997.

Comexpo Paris is regarded as one of the most important trade fair and exhibition organisers in France, running sixty events - ten of which are fashion oriented. It employs a staff of 220 and enjoys an annual turnover in excess of FRF600m ($82m).

By Sonia Roberts