A merger between the listed architects would create a group with 890 staff in 38 offices

Troubled architect SMC is in talks over a merger with fellow listed practice Aukett Fitzroy Robinson.

The companies said in a statement that they have entered into a “non binding heads of agreement” over a proposed merger of the two companies. A deal would create a group with 890 staff in 38 offices, spanning nine countries.

The talks come amid a turbulent period at SMC, which has struggled to compete as a listed company. Its founder and former chief executive Stuart McColl left the company earlier this year after a strategic review was launched into its financial underperformance.

The company saw profit drop 4% to £2.7m last year, and has since posted further profit warnings.