British Land and Norway’s sovereign wealth fund Norges are understood to have appointed CBRE to investigate the £750m sale of its Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield.

British Land will have to swallow a huge loss on Meadowhall, which has seen its value half since 2012

The appointment comes despite a denial from British Land to Property Week about the potential sale in August.

When asked then about a possible sale of the centre, a spokesman for British Land, which lost its spot in the FTSE100 in June, said: “British Land have asked us to make it clear to Property Week that Meadowhall is not for sale, [and] not about to be sold.”

However, according to a report in The Times, it is understood CBRE will start marketing Meadowhall over the next few weeks

If a deal was struck at around £750m, it would be one of the largest shopping centre deals over the past decade, and would equate to a net initial yield of around 7.5%.

Property Week first revealed the potential sale of Meadowhall and British Land’s other shopping centres in May.

At the time, the group’s finance director Bhavesh Mistry said: “We’ve got a strong balance sheet as part of the shopping centres and trading is continuing to improve in them. But when market conditions are right, we would be open to dispose.

“We’ve not put a for-sale sign over them right now, but the key is they are a non-core asset for us. The economics of retail parks - that’s where our focus is.”

Mistry’s comments suggested British Land was also considering selling its 50% interest in the Southgate centre in Bath, and Drake’s Circus in Plymouth, which it owns outright.

In August, reports claimed US real estate group Realty Income Corporation was in discussions over a possible acquisition of the shopping centre, which is part of a 50:50 joint venture between British Land and Meadowhall.

British Land paid Yorkshire developers Eddie Healey and Paul Sykes £1.2bn for Meadowhall in 1999.

The property giant sold 50% of the mall to Norges in 2012 in a deal that valued it at £1.5bn.

The value of the shopping centre has since halved, as out-of-town retail centres struggle against the rise of internet shopping and other economic woes.

Any buyer of Meadowhall would have to take on the centre’s £450m debt.