John von Spreckelsen, chairman of Somerfield, told the conference he has been a fan of Kwik Save since 1996 when, as chief executive of Budgens, he tried to engineer a reverse takeover of the business. In fact von Spreckelsen liked Kwik Save so much he made its retention part of his agreement to join Somerfield as chairman. This is the first time he has revealed such a deal was ever in the pipeline ­ two years before Somerfield successfully acquired Kwik Save. Von Spreckelsen said much of what he thought five years ago held true today and was underpinning much of the rebirth strategy underway at Kwik Save, and he insisted it was not too late to turn around the business. "For the first time in six years Kwik Save has returned to sustainable growth and I would expect the growth to accelerate." {{NEWS }}