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PARIS (AP) _ Rhodia SA said Monday it has concluded the sale of its basic chemicals operations in Europe to Bain Capital in a move to cut debt and narrow its business focus, the specialty chemicals business.

Bain Capital, a private investment firm, acquired the units for an undisclosed amount. The businesses make and sell raw materials for the plastics, textiles and pharmaceutical industries.

Together, they represent about 280 million euros ($278.4 million) in annual sales and employ about 460 people.

Rhodia will retain a minority interest of less than 20 percent in the business to provide continuity.

The chemicals company said that after the sales closes, it will have exceeded its target of generating 500 million euros ($497.2 million) from divestments.

Rhodia had net debt of about 2.39 billion euros ($2.38 billion) at the end of June, and targets year-end net debt of about 2 billion euros.

SG Securities' Jeremy Davies said the sale ``takes Rhodia out of the bulk materials business that had detracted from its focus on specialty chemicals.''