Westfield, the world’s largest shopping centre owner, is to spin off A$12.2bn (£7.6bn) of assets in Australia and New Zealand – in a move that many suspect will lead it to ramping up development plans in the UK. The Westfield Retail Trust will be a joint venture partner in 54 of the company’s shopping centres in Australia and New Zealand. Westfield, whose assets are worth more than A$61bn, owns the Westfield London shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush, as well as sites in Derby, Nottingham and Guildford. It is also developing a new £1.45bn centre in Stratford, east London, next to the site for the 2012 Olympics, and is planning to launch a fresh food market at the development. It is understood that the restructuring, which will place the British assets alongside the company’s 55 US shopping centres, will allow Westfield more room to advance its UK development plans – including a regeneration of Bradford city centre. Citigroup, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley are advising Westfield, which is also believed to be in talks with Henderson Global Investors about selling a 50pc stake in its Stratford scheme to a new fund.