Liberty International is in talks to sell its $560m (£368m) US shopping centre business to a Miami-based real estate investment trust as the next step in its planned demerger.

Liberty is in advanced talks with Equity One, a large US retail owner, to sell its property business based in California. Liberty is believed to be structuring the deal to trade the properties in return for equity in the US group, rather than cash, which would give the UK Reit a stake in any growth of the business.

Such a deal structure is expected to be more tax efficient for Liberty.

The company this month confirmed to the Stock Exchange an FT report that it would separate into two businesses – a £2bn shopping centre owner and a £1bn London-focused development business.

Financial Times