Westfield Group, an Australian shopping centre group, had entered into deals with Intu Properties to sell its three UK shopping stores for £597m.

These three UK stores are at Merry Hill, Derby and Sprucefield.

The sale of three stores is expected to result in gross proceeds of AUD1.1bn ($0.99bn) for Westfield Group. The group expects to use the capital for its future developmental plans.

Westfield Group co-CEO Steven Lowy AM said today’s announcement continues the strategic repositioning of the international portfolio in line with their focus on investing and operating iconic retail destinations in major world cities.

"Post completion of these divestments, the UK/European portfolio will comprise our two major London assets – Westfield London and Stratford, which are already two of the best retail destinations in Europe," Lowy added.

"It will also include the major development opportunities at Milan in Italy and Croydon in London, which we expect to be amongst Europe’s top retail destinations."

The transactions, which are subject to some conditions, are expected to close in mid-2014.

Founded in 1960, Westfield Group undertakes ownership, development, design, construction, funds/asset management, property management, leasing and marketing activities and employing approximately 4,000 staff worldwide.

The Westfield Group operates and has investment interests in 90 shopping centres across Australia, the US, the UK and New Zealand, with over 20,500 retail outlets and $70bn total assets under management.