This follows the news (see AM November 22) that New York Equity company Blackstone Group has agreed to buy TRW Automotive from Grumman for £2.99bn in a deal which would see TRW Automotive and its braking, steering and suspension subsidiary, TRW Automotive Europe, separated from Grumman's core defence businesses.
TRW chief exec John Plant plans to remain at the wheel of the parts supplier and says he says he will focus on the automotive safety market. He says an injection of cash will underwrite increased technology investment in safety and other TRW Automotive business lines.
The sale will allow Northrop to acquire rival military contractor TRW Inc. without having to take on the autoparts-making business.
Although Plant says he has no plans to divest any of the company's business lines once it has become independent, he has revealed that he has received inquiries from potential buyers.
Plant, who has been CEO of TRW Automotive since October 2001, said the Blackstone deal is expected to close early next year.