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Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Texas Instruments Sells Unit for $3 Billion


Texas Instruments has agreed to sell a division of the company which mainly makes temperature and lighting sensors and controls, under it sstrategy to divest business not related to the company's main chip business.

The division, which has $1 billion in annual revenue and 5,400 employees, is a small part of Dallas-based Texas Instruments and not closely tied to the company's main business of producing semiconductors for cellphones and other electronics.

The division, which is based in Attleboro, Mass., makes temperature and lighting sensors and controls for use in homes, automobiles, planes and industrial settings. A little more than half its sales come from outside the United States.

The sale is in keeping with Texas Instruments' strategy of divesting businesses that are either not directly related to its dominant position in the wireless chip business or successful enough to help lift the average profit margins of all its businesses. The company has sold divisions that made memory and personal computer chips in the past.

According to TI, the company has no specific plans for the $3 billion, but the company has used excess cash in recent times to increase its dividend, buy back shares and make acquisitions.

The sale does not include Texas Instruments' radio frequency identification business, which is part of the sensors division. That fast-growing technology is being used by companies and governments to keep track of products, assets and even people with transmitters that send signals over short distances.


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