NEW YORK - Canada's Brookfield Asset Management Inc is preparing to bid for a large stake in No. 2 U.S. mall owner General Growth Properties Inc, aiming to outbid Simon Property Group Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Citing several people familiar with the matter, the report said Brookfield may unveil its bid as early as this week, and that its plan would allow General Growth to emerge from bankruptcy proceedings as a stand-alone company.

Brookfield and General Growth executives were not immediately available for comment.

The report comes amid an escalating battle between General Growth, which became the biggest real estate failure in U.S. history when it filed for bankruptcy in April, and Simon, which put in a $10 billion bid.

The two have not been able to agree on terms of a nondisclosure agreement which is usually signed before a company opens up its books to another.

A source familiar with the situation told Reuters last Thursday that General Growth was looking to raise $1 billion to $2 billion from public markets to fund an independent exit from bankruptcy, and was talking with numerous investors.

(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Gary Hill)