* Sale could fetch 300-400 million euros -sources
* EVG operates 1,200 km of grids in Thuringia, Saxony
* Sale may be launched this month or next -source
(Adds context on grid sales, background on E.ON)
By Christoph Steitz and Arno Schuetze
FRANKFURT, Feb 5 German utility E.ON
and gas firm VNG AG are considering selling their
jointly owned regional gas grid EVG Thueringen in an auction
that could fetch 300-400 million euros ($406-540 million), two
people familiar with the matter said.
The sale of EVG, which operates a 1,200 kilometre gas grid
in the German states of Thuringia and Saxony, could be launched
this month or next, one of the people told Reuters.
E.ON and VNG - which is part-owned by EWE AG,
Russia's Gazprom and BASF's oil and gas arm
Wintershall - both declined to comment.
Power and gas grids have been prime targets for
infrastructure investors which are looking to buy into safer
assets amid turbulent stock markets and low interest rates.
Late last year, E.ON, Germany's biggest utility, agreed to
sell regional gas grid Ferngas Nordbayern GmbH to First State
Investments, an asset management business owned by the
Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
First State had also led a consortium which acquired the
local power distribution grid of Finnish utility Fortum
for 2.55 billion euros.
Australian bank Macquarie has also become a major
force in European infrastructure M&A, buying RWE's
4,100 kilometre gas network Thyssengas GmbH for an estimated 500
million euros and leading a consortium that won the auction for
E.ON's Open Grid Europe gas network in 2012.
E.ON has nearly completed a 20 billion euro asset disposal
programme aimed at lowering its 33 billion euro debt pile and
streamlining its business, which has come under pressure from
record-low wholesale power prices and a boom in rivalling
renewable energy sources in its home market.
($1 = 0.7402 euros)
(Editing by Maria Sheahan)