Architect pays initial fee of £3.6m forCharter Partnership, to increase market exposure in south and east England.

Architect SMC has acquired rival Charter Partnership for an initial consideration of £3.56m.

SMC will make two further payments for the £7.2m turnover company on top of the initial amount, dependent on its future performance. Charter Partnership, which trades as Charter Consultant Architects, has offices in London, Bedford, Bournemouth and Ipswich.

SMC plans to use the acquisition to increase its exposure to the architecture market in the south and east of England, and increase its presence in the education and defence sectors.

Charter's existing clients include BT, the Ministry of Defence, Amec, Trinity College Cambridge and the University of Essex.

With the addition of Charter, SMC will have about 440 members of staff.