* Looking to close deal end 2013, early 2014 - source
* Deal worth around 700 mln euros - source
* Snam previously said TAG would be good fit
(Recasts lead, adds detail, background)
By Stephen Jewkes
MILAN, Sept 5 Italy's Snam has started
talks with state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) to buy
the TAG gas pipeline, sources said on Thursday, as it presses
ahead with plans to grow its European gas transport footprint.
The deal, valued at around 700 million euros ($918.33
million), would give Snam control over a strategic pipeline that
carries Russian gas through Austria into Italy.
Snam, one of Europe's biggest gas transport groups, has a
strategic alliance with Belgium's Fluxys and is
looking to integrate Europe's patchwork of gas grids.
In April the company reached a final agreement to buy, along
with other investors, the TIGF gas transport and storage
business of France's Total.
"Talks have started," a source with knowledge of the matter
A second source said the company was looking to complete the
acquisition by the end of this year or early in 2014.
Snam, which has always said TAG would be a good fit for its
business, is 30 percent owned by CDP.
TAG is 89 percent owned by CDP while the remainder is owned
by Austria's OMV.
The second source said the value of the operation should be
around the amount paid by CDP for TAG.
CDP completed the acquisition of TAG from Italian oil and
gas group Eni in 2011 for around 710 million euros.
Snam declined to comment while CDP said it did not comment
on market rumours.
($1 = 0.7623 euros)
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; editing by Francesca Landini and