E.ON is understood to have hired Goldman Sachs to oversee the sale of its €2.5bn-rated (£2.15bn) Open Grid Europe gas distribution network.
Open Grid Europe is a subsidiary of Ruhrgas, the business E.ON acquired for €10bn in 2003.
The company is under pressure due to Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear power, which tipped it into its first quarterly loss. In response it announced an overhaul of its business aimed at slashing costs by €1.5bn, including up to 11,000 job cuts.
The firm is also amassing a war chest for a push into emerging markets, with chief executive Johannes Teyssen aiming to sell €15bn of assets by the end of 2013.
E.ON employs around 12,000 people in the UK and more than 79,000 worldwide.