Aukett Swanke Group, the international group of architects and interior designers, has acquired the entire share capital of Shankland Cox Limited, a well established firm of architects and engineers operating throughout the United Arab Emiratesand incorporated in the UK. The total consideration for SCL is a maximum of AED16.0 million (approximately GBP3.0 million) and is being satisfied as to GBP1.13 million in cash on completion, the balance of approximately GBP1.87 million to be payable against the collection of SCL's debtors and work in progress following completion.

The initial consideration will be funded by a term loan from the Group's bankers, with the Group expected to remain debt free (on a net basis) post transaction. The vendor of SCL has agreed to remain with the company for at least two years post completion and will chair our enlarged Middle East operation.

SCL has a staff of 106 which, together with ASG's existing international network of subsidiaries, joint ventures, associates and licensees, creates an enlarged workforce of 146 in our Middle East operation and a total of 483 staff in the Group.