CORRECTED-GE close to buying Avio for more than 3 bln euros-sources

Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:01pm EST

(Corrects currency in headline, lede paragraph)

MILAN Dec 17 (Reuters) - General Electric is expected to finalise an agreement to buy Italian aerospace supplier Avio as early as this week for more than 3 billion euros, sources close to the deal said on Monday.

"Barring last minute surprises, the deal should be closed between Tuesday and Wednesday, with an announcement on Thursday," said one of the sources.

A second source said: "Nothing is closed but there is a desire to get it done before the (Christmas and New Year) holidays," the second source said.

France's Safran had also been in the race to buy Avio.

Cinven, which controls Avio, declined to comment.

Italian air defense group Finmeccanica owns a stake in Avio. (Reporting By Massimo Gaia, Tim Hepher and Alex Smith; editing by Stephen Jewkes)