Swedish furniture giant Ikea could be in the running to buy Churchill Square shopping centre in Brighton.

Talks to sell the mall have been under way for months and it is understood Ikea recently put forward an offer of £175 million.

Ikea’s bid for Churchill Square was announced by commercial property news outlet CoStar, though the company would not discuss it.

A spokeswoman for Ikea said: “As part of our ongoing transformation to be closer to our customers, however they choose to shop with us, we continually explore the potential of new locations and sites.

“As it stands today, we have no news to share.”

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Churchill Square’s current owner, Abrdn, was also quick to distance itself from any rumours of a confirmed buyer.

“Discussions have been ongoing for a few months around a possible sale. abrdn do not wish to comment on speculation in the market,” said a spokeswoman for Churchill Square."

Ikea has form in buying shopping centres, purchasing the former Kings Mall in London for £170 million in 2020 before launching its Levit mall.

Inside the centre is the UK’s only high street Ikea store, a Lidl, studio spaces available to rent by the hour and many of the brands that were there before.

Cindy Andersen, the managing director of Ikea’s parent group property arm, told The Guardian in 2022: “This is the first step on our journey to develop more city centre locations.

“This was a perfect opportunity to refurbish and existing location which has been established for a long time and taking the next step to put some new energy into the place.”

Ikea previously had controversial plans to open a large outlet in Lancing, a plan that was met with a fierce backlash from residents in 2018.

They said an Ikea store belonged on an industrial estate not the intended site of New Monks Farm, near Shoreham Airport, which also acts as a flood plain.

Building work on the development of 600 homes with a school and country park began but in 2021 Ikea bosses pulled out, citing a move to online sales as the basis of the decision.

Richard Rands, market expansion manager at Ikea UK and Ireland, said at the time: “This has not been an easy decision to make.

“We understand this news may disappoint some and we remain committed to serving customers in Lancing in the best possible way, through both our online offer and home delivery service, as well as our remote selling and planning facilities.”