PEWAUKEE, Wis. -- The proposed merger of Roundy's here with Spartan Stores, Grand Rapids, Mich., last year collapsed after only seven weeks of discussion. But the possibility of renewed talks sometime in the future remains likely, Gerald F. Lestina, president and soon-to-be chief executive officer of Roundy's, told SN. "The timing just wasn't right last year," he said. "But we parted very amicably, and we retain a lot of respect for Spartan management, and there's a potential there for a possible resumption of talks sometime in the future." Part of the problem, he noted, was the cultural difference between the two companies. "Their board of directors is made up totally of retailers, while our board has retailers, officers and outside directors," he explained. "One intent of the proposed merger was to expand the size of the board and balance it, and the difficulty in reaching agreement on that point probably had a little bit to do with the breakdown. "The Spartan people were amenable to looking at the board makeup, but as we got further along in the discussions, that became a sticking point." Both companies are re-engineering their operations to encompass Efficient Consumer Response practices, Lestina said, "and our opportunities to re-engineer differed from theirs. But it's possible we may talk again when we both achieve greater efficiencies, at which point we might find that we're both more compatible."