French head of British subsidiary heads for the Alps to be replaced by man in charge of Paris area

Pascal Minault, chairman of Bouygues UK, will leave his post in June after six years in the job.

He will be replaced by Madani Sow, a 52-year-old French national who is currently managing director of Bouygues’ private sector construction in the greater Paris region.

Sow, who holds a master’s degree in mathematics, will also become chairman of Warings, the Portsmouth-based contractor that Bouygues bought in December for £30m.

It is understood that Sow arrived in the UK on Monday to begin a month’s handover. Minault declined to go into details about his next role, but it is believed that he will head up Bouygues’ operation in Switzerland.

It is understood that Bouygues approached Minault about the move and his family were keen to return to a French-speaking country.

He said: “My time in the UK has been positive. We’ve been profitable while diversifying and strengthening the presence of the Bouygues brand.”

Over the six years, turnover has grown from £100m to £600m.

Minault pointed to the Warings deal as an example of how Bouygues had enhanced its reputation but refused to be drawn on which firms may be acquired next.

He said: “I can’t give you names but we’ve been very open about our plans to expand organically and through the acquisition of regional UK companies.”

Asked whether Bouygues, which turns over £22bn worldwide, would consider a larger UK player such as Costain, he said: “It’s not a priority for us.”

Minault said the next “big thing” for Bouygues UK would be to hit the £1bn-turnover mark, although “there is no target date”.

Madani Sow’s CV

1981 Joined Bouygues Construction International as a site engineer at Riyadh university in Saudi Arabia
1987 Moved to Bouygues Construction Greater Paris
1995 Made chief executive of Bouygues subsidiary Screg Construction
2005 Already head of private sector construction in greater Paris, he took over control of residential accommodation.