Centro Properties Group, Australia's second-largest shopping center landlord and owner of nearly 700 U.S. malls, said Tuesday that it was seeking buyers for the company -- a victim of the deepening global credit crunch.
In the U.S., Centro is the fifth- largest owner of shopping centers, with holdings in 40 states having total leasable space of nearly 108 million square feet.
Many of the company's U.S. properties are small centers or strip malls acquired last year as part of Centro's $4-billion purchase of New Plan Excel, a New York-based shopping center real estate investment trust.
Centro's California properties include Puente Hills Town Center, Eagle Rock Plaza and Montebello Plaza.
The company's U.S. arm, which is based in New York, employs more than 800 people.
Melbourne-based Centro lost 80% of its market value last month when it revealed that it was struggling to refinance its debt amid the credit market fallout from rising defaults in U.S. sub-prime mortgages.