Associates First Capital Corp., wielding the ax just one day after completing its $3.9 billion buyout of Avco Financial Services Inc., said Thursday that it would eliminate 400 jobs.

The job cuts, expected in the second quarter, represent 5% of Avco's 8,000-employee U.S. work force. About half of those employees will be offered new jobs. Most of the cuts will come from Avco's headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif., which will close. "Realistically, it is not efficient to maintain dual corporate headquarters with overlapping functions," said Keith W. Hughes, chairman and chief executive officer of Associates.

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