NEW YORK — Malden Mills Industries Inc. said its exit from bankruptcy will likely be delayed by two months as a result of procedural hang-ups.

The hearing at which it is scheduled to present its final reorganization plan has been postponed to May 1, according to business manager David Costello. It had been set for April 24, which would conflict with Passover observances, Costello said. Malden chairman, president and chief executive officer Aaron Feuerstein is a devout Jew.

The hearing will be followed by a 60-day comment period, after which the Lawrence, Mass.-based firm would be able to emerge from Chapter 11. The mill, which sought court protection in November 2001, had earlier said it would emerge by late May. "We will be out of Chapter 11 this summer, as expected," said Costello.

As reported, a key contention has been whether Feuerstein would retain control of the firm after bankruptcy. Under current terms of its emergence plan, Feuerstein intends to buy back the company from its creditors. Upon emergence, the deal calls for him to surrender the ceo post, which he would then be able to resume after completing his purchase of the company.

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