Stival Napajedla, one of the largest and best-know Czech footwear producers, has decided to end own shoe production as it sold its shoe plant in Veseli nad Moravou, where it made most of its shoes, to Penta Shoe run by Stival's ex-managers, the daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) reported.

"The managers who were in charge of the shoe factory in Veseli were given a choice: either they take over the production or the company will be wound up. Rumour has it that the holding company itself will end up in liquidation and only the sales network will remain," MfD quoted an unnamed source familiar with Stival's situation as saying.

Secretary of the Czech Association of Footwear Producers (COA), Vlasta Mayerova, told MfD that Stival had been taken over by Penta Shoe.

Stival management has not confirmed the information yet. The company has not disclosed the terms of the alleged takeover, and has not commented on the future of brand name Stival either.

Stival started operating in the Czech market in 1990 and production in the newly-built plant in Veseli was launched in 1993. Since 1999 the plant has been owned by Italian company IPR which sold its 100 per cent stake to Altec Invest four months ago.