William Reed Publishing, owner of The Grocer, has made a formal offer to acquire Foodex Meatex, the member-owned equipment and services show organiser.

The 144 members have been sent details of the bid in a letter from Foodex Meatex chairman Michael Harris in which he outlines the background and reasons for the Board’s recommendation that the offer should be considered by members at their annual general meeting in Coventry on March 1.

“William Reed’s expertise as both a publisher and trade show organiser should ensure the future development of Foodex Meatex as a valuable marketing event for the food processing industry,” said Harris.

William Reed already stages a number of top exhibitions - such as The Convenience Retailing Show and Food & Drink Expo, which take place alongside Foodex Meatex at the NEC, Birmingham 19th-22nd March 2006. It also publishes the leading food and drink processing equipment title Food Manufacture.

Encouraging members to support the offer, William Reed group managing director Charles Reed said his company would bring its considerable marketing, exhibitions and publishing expertise to play in ensuring the show had both a new direction and a more secure future.

“William Reed has powerful marketing channels within the food industry which it will use to promote the show and its exhibitors,” he said.

“We genuinely believe that the Foodex Meatex exhibition will benefit from being part of our organisation and this deal offers the best opportunity to grow and revitalise it. I would encourage all members to seriously consider the real benefits of this offer and to give us their support either at the AGM or by proxy.”