UK supermarket operator J Sainsbury has said it is to acquire Swan, an intermediary company through which Sainsbury’s has outsourced its IT redevelopment and operations to Accenture for seven years, in a bid to reduce costs.

“We are pleased with the work that Accenture has completed on our behalf and we have extended our relationship as our new IT infrastructure becomes fully operational,” CEO Peter Davis said.

“We would now like to acquire Swan to create a direct commercial relationship with Accenture, as we near completion of our business transformation programme this summer,” he added.

Sainsbury’s said the proposed deal, worth around £553m (US$1.0bn), would result in a net reduction in costs of £25m in the year 2004/05. 
“The net reduction in costs will provide Sainsbury’s with additional resources to develop our customer proposition, by investing in quality and innovation and improving further our competitive offer, as we move towards trading our business harder from summer 2004,” Davis said.