Chairman undertakes restructuring by selling shares to senior managers and employees while retaining his title

Stef Stefanou, chairman of concrete contractor John Doyle Group, has sold almost 80% of the company to his senior management and staff. He has retained a 22% stake in the company and will remain chairman.

Stefanou, who would not reveal how much cash he made from the sale, said the reason for the restructuring was to address succession issues and ensure continuity.

He added that he was not retiring and would remain actively involved in the company as chairman. "In time I will have less on my desk but I will be in the office," he said.

Forty-eight per cent of shares will be split between five members of senior management, including chief executive Rob Johnson. One of the five is the newly appointed finance director, Richard Clancy, a former director of Jarvis' accommodation services business.

The three others are managing directors Paul Nurton and Mark Taylor, and company secretary Stephen Harvey. Each member of the management team has invested money but the change in ownership has also been part funded by the Bank of Scotland.

Stefanou has sold the remaining 30% of the business to other employees. He said it was a way of ensuring a democratic future for the firm.

Johnson said: "The change to a wider internal ownership is part of the continuing process of succession management for the group and provides an incentive for the next generation. Stef's continuing involvement will ensure that the process remains evolutionary and provides stability and continuity for the business."

Johnson was appointed chief executive in January, to take over the day-to-day running of the business from Stefanou, who turns 65 in September. He joined the company 18 months before that, after spending nine years at Jarvis.

In the year to 31 December 2004, the last financial data available, pre-tax profit at John Doyle rose 12.5% to £4.5m and turnover increased 23% to £137m.

John Doyle Group at a glance

John Doyle Construction Incorporated in 1966, specialises in substructure, superstructure and infrastructure

Ibex Interior fit-out and refurbishment business, project size ranges from £100,000 to £20m

Bell Projects Acquired in 1990, a new-build, refurbishment and fit-out business

Blythewood Plant Hire Bought in 1987, serves external customers as well as John Doyle subsidiaries