Canadian retailer Empire Co. has sold 61 of its retail properties to Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust for C$428.5m (US$433.8m).

Empire, which runs the Sobeys stores in Canada, owns a 48.1% stake in the trust, and will receive C$280m as part of the deal.

The outlets to be sold include 40 stores under various Sobeys banners, which the company will lease back from the trust.

Empire president and CEO Paul Sobey said the deal would lead to "significant growth" for the trust.