LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Houston-based offshore oil and gas firm Talos Energy says it's acquiring Lafayette-based Stone Energy in a merger worth nearly $2 billion.

The deal means that Talos, a private equity firm, will go public on the New York Stock Exchange with Stone, which is traded publicly. The new company will be known as Talos Energy Inc.

In a joint news release Tuesday, company officials said the merger is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.

Talos' shareholders will own 63 percent of the combined company and Stone's will own 37 percent

Talos CEO Timothy Duncan will remain in his position. The new company will be based in Houston, with offices in Lafayette and New Orleans. Its corporate board will have six members designated by Talos and four by Stone.