PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Textron Inc. has sold its European Machine Tool Division to a group of investors that include some of the division's managers, the Providence-based conglomerate announced Thursday.

Textron acquired the division when it absorbed Ex-Cell-O Corp. in September 1986, and decided to sell the unit as part of an effort to pay off the debt incurred during the merger, spokesman Raymond W. Caine Jr. said.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The machine tool division employs about 1,300 people in Eislingen, West Germany; Leicester, England; and Ann Arbor, Mich., and sells about $100 million worth of standard and specialized machine tools a year, Caine said.