The combination of Burger King and Tim Hortons would become the world’s third-largest quick-service restaurant company.

MIAMI — Burger King Worldwide Inc. has confirmed it is in discussions to buy Tim Hortons, paving the way for the creation of a new, publicly traded quick-service restaurant company with its headquarters in Canada.

Under the proposed merger, 3G Capital, the majority owner of Burger King, would continue to own the majority of the shares of the new company on a pro forma basis, with the remainder held by existing shareholders of Tim Hortons and Burger King.

“3G Capital and its affiliates have a demonstrated track record of managing international expansion of iconic brands around the globe,” the companies said in a joint statement. “Within this new entity, Tim Hortons and Burger King would operate as standalone brands, while benefiting from shared corporate services, best practices and global scale and reach. 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 combined company would become the world’s third-largest quick-service restaurant company, with approximately $22 billion in system sales and more than 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries worldwide.

The companies stressed that any transaction will be structured to preserve the relationships that already have been formed through the years and “deepen the connections each brand has with its guests, franchisees, employees and communities.”

The transaction remains subject to negotiation of definitive agreements. Tim Hortons and Burger King said they do not intend to comment any further on the transaction unless and until a transaction is agreed or discussions are discontinued, and specifically disclaim any obligation to provide further updates to the market.

3G Capital took Burger King public in 2012, and in 2013 teamed with Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to take H.J. Heinz Co. private in a $23 billion deal. 3G Capital is known for aggressive cost-cutting at the companies it acquires.

Tim Hortons was purchased by Wendy’s International Inc. in 1995. In 2006 it completed an initial public offering and was spun off as a separate company.