MERRY Hill owners Westfield have sold off their share of the Brierley Hill shopping centre in favour of furthering interests in London, it was confirmed today (Thursday).

The Westfield Group announced it had entered into conditional agreements with Intu Properties to sell off its 50 per cent share of the Merry Hill mall for £407.7million - with Australian investment company QIC retaining the other half.

Intu Properties, which operates 16 shopping centres across the country including the Trafford Centre in Manchester, Lakeside in Essex and Cribbs Causeway in Bristol, has also bought Westfield shopping centres in Derby and Sprucefield in the deal which totals £867.8million.

David Fischel, Intu's chief executive, said: “The acquisition strengthens Intu’s position as the leading owner, developer and manager of prime UK shopping centres filling in gaps in our national coverage and extending the footprint of our nationwide consumer facing brand and digital strategy.

"We are delighted to establish a partnership with QIC, a major global investor, at Merry Hill.”

Steven Lowy, co-CEO of the Westfield Group, said the company was keeping its two major malls in the capital – Westfield London and Westfield Stratford, which he described as “two of the best retail destinations in Europe”; it will also be pursuing major development opportunities in Milan, Italy, and Croydon in London.

He added: “Today’s announcement continues the strategic repositioning of the international portfolio in line with our focus on investing and operating iconic retail destinations in major world cities.”

Merry Hill, which comprises 1.4 million sq ft of retail space, 214 shop units and attracts around 25 million customer visits a year, is currently number 13 in a ranking of UK shopping centres.