Slovenia's leading textile manufacturer, Mura, is poised to be declared bankrupt and a newly restructured company created in its wake after failing to deal with mounting debts.

A two-day strike by nearly 500 workers at the company plant in the town of Murska Sobota ended with the appointment of a new chief executive, Bojan Starman, a trained economist, who started work yesterday (24 September), and with assurances to pay compensation to those workers who lose their jobs.

In a statement to the media, Mr Starman insisted he was confident the company could be restructured and continue to supply "quality, cheaper products".

However, he was unable to guarantee that all 3,000 workers employed by the company in Slovenia would keep their jobs.

Mura was founded more than 80 years ago, and as recently as 2007 exported goods valued at EUR39.1m (US$57.3m), generating revenue of EUR70.28 from brand lines such as Pallatine, Cavelli and Carla Degen.

But the company has also run up significant losses - 2008/2009 was posted at EUR5.8m - and the state-run Slovenian Restitution Fund had to pay EUR1.5m to cover worker's wages for July and August.

Also, Hugo Boss recently suspended supplies of material to Mura, but stopped short of terminating its contracts with the company.

By Mark Rowe.