Australian shopping center operator Westfield joined Simon Property Group in acquiring a stake in Liberty International. Westfield amassed a 2.96% stake in the U.K. shopping center REIT by amassing 10.7 million shares for about £91 million in June and July. Liberty and Westfield "could either be working together and looking to divide up the assets, or this move by Westfield could be a defensive move to try and keep new entrants out of this market," Merrill Lynch equities director Sarah Cooper said.

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