Texas Instruments has sold its sensors and controls business to Bain Capital for $3 billion in cash.

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

However the deal does not include Texas's RFID arm, previously part of the sensors and controls group, which will remain with Texas and become part of its semiconductor group.

Selling off the arm is good news for the group, said the company's manager of investor relations, Ron Slaymaker. "For Texas to realise sensor and controls’ full potential, we would have to increase investments," he said. "Given the relative growth in our DSP and analog business, we prefer to keep investments in those core areas." Texas' semiconductor group, which sells DSP (digital signal processing) and analog chips among other products, makes up the bulk of the company’s revenues.

It decided to keep the RFID business because the technology is a growth market and offers a growth business, Slaymaker said.