Hamid and von Spreckelsen move to Merchant Equity
Former Halfords chief executive David Hamid and John von Spreckelsen, the ex-chief executive of Budgens and former executive chairman of Somerfield, have joined private equity firm Merchant Equity Partners.

The company was set up by Henry Jackson, head of Deutsche Bank's European consumer and retail group, last month with the aim of turning around troubled retail businesses in the UK and mainland Europe.

Merchant is likely to target companies valued at less than£300 million.

'Retail will continue to be an exciting arena over the next few years, with many potential retail turnaround situations crystallised by recent tough trading conditions,' said Hamid.

Meanwhile, former Asda chairman Archie Norman is thought to be only a few weeks away from launching a buy-out fund with assets worth as much as£1 billion.