TRW, Northrop Grumman sign confidentiality agreement

TRW Inc. and Northrop Grumman Corp. announced May 6 they have signed a confidentiality agreement that will give Northrop Grumman access to non-public financial information from TRW.

In light of the agreement, Northrop Grumman has extended its tender offer for shares of TRW to May 17. The offer was set to expire May 3.

Northrop Grumman of Los Angeles and TRW of Cleveland have publicly battled since February when Northrop Grumman made an offer to purchase TRW. TRW has insisted that Northrop's offer of $53 per share, plus assumption of the company's $5.5 billion debt load, is too low.

Northrop Grumman has accused TRW of trying to impose onerous restrictions on the sharing of information, and using Ohio's financial laws to block the interests of its own shareholders.

TRW announced May 3 that it believes shareholders have rejected Northrop Grumman's offer, based on proxies submitted prior to the company's annual meeting. The company termed the signing of the confidentiality agreement a "part of its review of strategic alternatives," noting that it has signed similar agreements with other interested companies.

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