Fabric maker Malden Mills Industries will probably lose around 50 jobs as it emerges from bankruptcy protection later this year - a lower figure than was initially predicted. The exact figure depends on a still to be approved reorganisation plan, how much fleece Malden Mills can sell, and on how it structures a partnership to manufacture its signature Polartec fleece in Asia said Frank Budetti, a turnaround specialist brought in to run the family business by owner Aaron Feuerstein last year. The company's Lawrence facility employs 1,200 and produces about 18 million square yards a year, although this is expected to decrease to 15-16 million square yards by 2003. Budetti, quoted in The Boston Glove, says the drop-off is due to European Union trade barriers, which have forced Malden to shift some production from Lawrence to a European subsidiary, as well as declining sales in Asia. To reverse the trend, Malden Mills wants to set up a new factory in the Far East.