Tanker operator Euronav NV is near a deal to merge with rival Gener8 Maritime Inc., a person familiar with the matter said, a union that would create one of the world's biggest oil tanker operators.
The agreement could be reached as soon as this week, this person said. Terms couldn't be learned.
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New York-listed Gener8 has a market capitalization of around $360 million. Euronav, which is listed both in Belgium and New York, has a market value of more than $1 billion.
Gener8 had been in merger talks with Norway's Frontline Ltd. earlier this year but no deal was reached. It operates more than 20 very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, the massive ships that move the world's oil across oceans.
Euronav operates around 25 VLCCs and 29 smaller tankers, worth a total of $2.25 billion.
Tanker operators have been fighting below break-even freight over the past year due to an oversupply of vessels. Big owners like Frontline have said the sector needs to be consolidated.
Oaktree Capital Management LP and BlackRock Inc. are Gener8's two biggest investors, holding about 15% and 11%, respectively.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 20, 2017 19:22 ET (00:22 GMT)