French retail giant Carrefour is understood to be looking at spinning off its property unit or considering an initial public offering.

The unit is estimated to be worth around EUR11bn (US$14.65bn) and an IPO or spin-off would be part of the retailers attempts to return money to its shareholders, Reuters reported today (16 December).

According to sources, Carrefour has started work on the transaction, with investment banks UBS and Rothschild already mandated.

A decision is expected to be made in the first half of 2011.

Carrefour did not return comment when contacted by just-food.