PricewaterhouseCoopers has asked ASIC for permission to resign as Centro's auditor after the shopping centre owner launched a legal action against it, claiming it was partly to blame for failure to disclose information to investors.

Debt-plagued Centro said it was in the final stages of appointing a new auditor to replace PricewaterhouseCoopers, which it will meet in court on June 12.

Centro officially launched a cross-claim in the Federal Court on May 27 to its $1bn shareholder class actions.

The allegation is that PricewaterhouseCoopers should assume part or all of the blame over claims that the property company failed to disclose its problems refinancing debt in its results before its near collapse in December 2007.

The Australian