Business & Finance

TRW Inc. said its board of directors would consider the $5.9 billion hostile takeover bid announced late last week by giant defense contractor Northrop Grumman. If the offer is accepted, Northrop Grumman indicated it would keep TRW's aerospace operations and sell off its auto parts business. But a TRW spokesman called the offer "regrettable" because it came only 48 hours after chairman David Cote resigned to accept a senior position with Honeywell Inc. While analysts said they thought his departure would make it difficult for TRW to fend off the hostile bid, they also thought the Northrop Grumman offer was too low and may well start a bidding war that could be joined by General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin Boeing.

In exchange for a $3.4 billion bailout from creditor banks, the Japanese retailing giant Daiei Inc. will lay off at least 1,400 employees and close 60 stores, reports said. Daiei operates supermarkets, department stores, specialty shops, discount outlets, the Lawson convenience store chain, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses.

Tomorrow's scheduled vote on the $2.2 billion buyout of upscale shopping mall operator Rodamco North America by a consortium of US and Australian investors has been postponed by a Dutch court, reports said. Rodamco, which owns such properties as Boston's Copley Place, Century City in Los Angeles, and Bergdorf Goodman on New York's Fifth Avenue, is a Dutch company, and a group representing small shareholders argued successfully that they aren't satisfied the selling price is high enough. The sale was announced Jan. 13.

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