(Bloomberg) -- Technip SA, Europe’s largest oilfield- services provider, is in talks to merge with U.S. peer FMC Technologies Inc., people familiar with the matter said.
Negotiations between the two companies, who formed a joint venture earlier this year, are at an advanced stage and a transaction may be announced before the end of 2015, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. No final deal has been reached and talks may still fall apart, they said.
Combining FMC and Technip would bring together the largest provider of subsea equipment to the industry with Europe’s biggest oil-services provider, at a time when the slump in oil prices has led customers to cut new projects and put pressure on suppliers. FMC has a market value of about $6.9 billion, after its shares fell more than 35 percent this year. Technip, which is down 8.2 percent year-to-date, is valued at about $5.8 billion.
The deal may be structured as an inversion, one of the people said, which may allow Houston-based FMC to move its headquarters to a country with lower taxes. While Technip is based in Paris, the combined company would not have to choose France as its tax domicile.
A spokesman for Technip couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. A representative for FMC didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
The companies in March announced a joint venture for offshore fields, called Forsys Subsea, as they seek to cut costs.
“The industry has a serious problem,” FMC Chief Executive Officer John Gremp said at the time.
--With assistance from Ruth David, David Wethe and Tara Patel.
To contact the reporters on this story: Matthew Monks in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org; Dinesh Nair in London at email@example.com To contact the editors responsible for this story: Aaron Kirchfeld at firstname.lastname@example.org; Elizabeth Fournier at email@example.com Elizabeth Wollman.
Copyright 2016 Bloomberg News.
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