Experts claim that the £553m worth of assets, bought back from SPV Swan Infrastructure, which was set up by IT partner Accenture in 2000, will simply be depreciated over a longer period of time, resulting in a paper saving of £25m.
Anthony Miller, an outsourcing research director at IT analyst Ovum, said: ‘It’s basically using financial wizardry to make a saving that bears absolutely no relation to any change in the service or the way it is delivered.’
A Sainsbury spokeswoman said the assets would be depreciated ‘in line with J Sainsbury accounting policy’.
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