French construction giant Bouygues said it will expand further in the UK after snapping up Portsmouth-based contractor Warings, its first large purchase in Britain.

Building revealed in July that Bouygues was in talks to acquire the £100m-turnover firm, the purchase of which would double Bouygues’ UK turnover. The sum paid is undisclosed but thought to be less than £30m.

Ian Gunter, Bouygues’ UK business development director, said: “We will be looking to acquire more similarly sized companies to expand our network in the UK.”

The UK expansion of Bouygues, Europe’s second largest contractor, is part of a growing trend among large foreign contractors. This month Chinese contractor MCC met UK companies, including Davis Langdon, with a view to bidding for work in Britain.

The deal with Warings will enable Bouygues to compete in traditional contracting in the UK for the first time. Most of its work in the region so far has been through PFI projects such as the Home Office’s headquarters in Marsham street.

Len Salter, Warings’ chief executive, said the Warings name and its management would remain. He said: “Bouygues wants to develop and grow and we’re proud to be part of that.”