French Bakery group Brioche Pasquier plans to close subsidiary Auga’s crisp bread plant in Châteauroux, central France, early in 2009.

The 143 staff working at the plant will be offered jobs at a plant currently under construction in Brissac Quince, near Angers.

The Châteauroux plant was acquired in 2005 and Pasquier’s initial plans were to rebuild it but poor market conditions in the crisp breads segment and the impact of European competition has meant the group now requires fewer production sites, a spokesman for Pasquier told just-food.  The plant also made losses in 2005 and 2006.

The spokesman also confirmed the closure of two smaller-sized crisps bread plants around 2010.

Pasquier is investing EUR50m (US$69.3m) at the Angers plant which will be equipped with four production lines and have an annual capacity of 15,000 tonnes. First-phase activity at the plant is scheduled to start in September 2008.