Starwood Capital Group hired Eastdil Secured to broker the sale of U.S. malls valued at about $1.2 billion, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
Starwood, a Greenwich-based firm, is selling malls it had acquired from Westfield Corp. including assets in Chicago, San Francisco and Cleveland, the people said, asking not to be identified as the sales process is private. Starwood and Eastdil declined to comment.
A total of seven malls were acquired by Westfield in 2013 for $1.6 billion. The malls were located in Ohio, California, Washington, and Indiana. It also owns Blue Back Square in West Hartford, which was purchased for $105 million in 2013.
Bleak earnings forecasts from department stores, Internet shopping and bankruptcy filings by firms including Sports Authority Inc. and teen-clothing chain Aeropostale Inc. have damped demand for malls among investors. Poorer quality malls face a "very tough environment", Blackstone Group LP's global head of real estate Jon Gray said June 6.
A Bloomberg index of regional mall landlords has gained 4.4 percent this year.
Courant staff contributed to this report.