Troubled architecture group SMC is to raise new equity to avoid collapse.

SMC today said it hoped to raise £13.3m from an open offer to shareholders in January enabling them to receive 19 new shares for every five they hold.

SMC has seen its share price drop from 183p in January to 8.25p today after a series of profit warnings earlier in the year. The group has expanded rapidly, snapping up several independent practices, such Alsop, run by Will Alsop, designer of the Palestra building in Southwark.

Disappointing performance

The group completed a strategic review in September which led to redundancies and integration of some of the businesses bought.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange today, Sir Rodney Walker, executive chairman of SMC, said: 'Following the disappointing performance of the group in the first half of 2007, the board believes that the net proceeds of the open offer together with its available facilities will be sufficient for the company to meet its financial obligations as they fall due in the near to mid-term.

‘Having fully implemented the recommendations of the internal business review the latest management information indicates that since July 2007 the Group has performed in line with management's expectations. With the benefit of the proceeds from the Open Offer, the Board expects steady progress from its new base.'