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Northrop is putting advisory unit up for sale

The defense contractor, sources say, hires two firms to solicit bids for the division known as Tasc, which makes recommendations to military and intelligence agencies. Offers could reach $2 billion.

August 20, 2009|Bloomberg News

Northrop Grumman Corp. is selling a unit that advises military and intelligence agencies and may fetch as much as $2 billion, four people familiar with the matter said.

Century City-based Northrop hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Credit Suisse Group to solicit bids for the division, known as Tasc, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Among potential buyers are private-equity firms including Carlyle Group and Blackstone Group, they said.

Tasc's business services include advising government agencies on weapons systems, and other Northrop units sometimes bid to build such systems. Congress passed a law in May that requires the Defense Department to strengthen rules on potential conflicts of interests among providers of such services.

Northrop shares gained 59 cents to $47.88.

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