Burger King and Tim Hortons are eyeing a deal that would strategically unite the two brands under a single mega-company that would be headquartered in Canada and publicly listed on the world markets.

The publicly listed company would be headquartered in Canada, the statement said. Within the new entity, Tim Hortons, Canada's iconic coffee-and-doughnut chain, and Burger King would operate as “standalone brands.”

The companies issued a joint statement on Sunday in response to a Wall Street Journal report that said Burger King wants to buy the coffee chain but keep the company Canadian, using an accounting action called “corporate inversion.”

That action would involve Burger King buying Tim Hortons, then establishing a Canadian-based company to take ownership of both fast-food chains.

In the statement, the companies said they are trying to “accelerate” Tim Horton’s growth worldwide.

“A key driver of these discussions is the potential to leverage Burger King's worldwide footprint and experience in global development to accelerate Tim Hortons’ growth in international markets,” the statement said.

If a deal is reached, the new company would be the world's third-largest quick service restaurant company, the statement said, with approximately $22 billion in system sales and more than 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries worldwide.

The companies say they will not comment further unless a deal is reached.