By Liz White, UT staffLinwood, Pennsylvania-Foamex International Inc. has sold its rubber and felt carpet cushion businesses to Leggett & Platt Inc., and will use the proceeds to lower its debt burden. The $38.5-million deal includes Foamex's rubber manufacturing plant at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and assets of its Newton, North Carolina, felt-manufacturing facility, said a Foamex statement. "These non-strategic businesses were a relatively small component of our overall portfolio and were not a part of our core urethane operations," pointed out Tom Chorman, president and ceo of Foamex, in the company statement. "We will continue to serve the rebond and prime segments of the overall carpet cushion market, which accounts for more than 85 percent of the national market." The group's increased focus on its core business, will allow better development of innovative products, the Foamex chief continued. "We intend to use the funds raised from this transaction to begin reducing our debt and debt-carrying cost, consistent with our previously stated goals," he added. "