Stockland Group today said it planned to raise up to $1.98 billion in share sales to strengthen its balance sheet and fund growth.

Sydney-based Stockland, an Australian property trust and developer, will offer existing investors the opportunity to acquire 2 new units for every 5 held at $2.70 each, to raise a maximum of $1.78bn; in addition to this, and at the same price, Stockland will place 75 million new securities with institutional buyers to raise $200m.

The offer price is a 19% discount to Stockland's last traded price of $3.35 a unit yesterday.

The Australian