TI sells sensors, controls arm for $3 billion

TI is selling its sensors and controls unit to Bain for US$3 billion.

Texas Instruments (TI) agreed to sell its sensors and controls business to Bain Capital for US$3 billion in cash, TI announced on Monday.

The sensors and controls group earns revenue of more than US$1 billion annually and has 5,400 workers in the Americas, Europe and Asia. The organization sells sensors and controls to the appliance, climate control, industrial, automotive, lighting and aircraft markets.

TI's RFID (radio frequency identification) operation, which has been part of the sensors and controls group, will remain with TI and become part of its semiconductor segment.

Selling off sensors and controls is good for the group and for TI, said Ron Slaymaker, vice president and manager of investor relations at TI. "For TI to realize sensor and controls' full potential, we would have to increase investments," said Slaymaker during a conference call to discuss the sale. "Given the relative growth in our DSP and analog business, we prefer to keep investments in those core areas." TI's semiconductor group, which sells DSP (digital signal processing) and analog chips among other products, makes up the bulk of the company's revenues.

TI decided to keep the RFID business because the technology is a growth market and offers a growth business to TI, Slaymaker said. TI's RFID business is currently profitable and the company plans to continue to invest in research and development for the technology, he said.

The current president of the sensors and controls group will continue to lead the organization. TI's board has approved the sale, which is expected to close in the first half of the year.

TI has been executing a restructuring program in the group that eliminated jobs and altered some production capabilities in an effort to boost efficiencies.

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