TRW is now part of the Mission Systems and Space Technology sectors of Northrop-Grumman.
TRW Inc. was a global manufacturing and service company headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. It was strategically focused on providing products and services with a high technology or engineering content to the automotive and space & defense markets. TRW usually helds leading positions in these markets. Founded in 1901, the company employed about 64,000 people in 27 countries. TRW has grown and prospered by anticipating promising new businesses and pioneering in their development.
The company had a long record of successfully developing and applying advanced technology to create sustained competitive advantage in those new businesses. Over its 101-year history, TRW demonstrated the flexibility and willingness to change its business mix to benefit from new economic and political conditions, new markets, and technological opportunities. By steadily reshaping itself, TRW sought to produce higher sustainable growth in earnings and increased value for shareholders.
Founded in 1901 as the Cleveland Cap Screw Company, the firm made hexagon and square-head cap screws, specialty fillister screws, and coupling bolts and studs. Soon afterward, TRW's product line included the aircraft engine valves used in Allied fighter planes during World War I. By 1915, TRW was the leading U.S. manufacturer of engine valves, producing the first one-piece valve in 1917 and a highly durable silicon and chrome steel valve in 1921.
TRW's experimental hollow sodium-cooled valve helped power the Spirit of St. Louis on Lindbergh's historic solo flight in 1927. The company continued developing its aircraft technology, and by the early 1940s its engine valves and fuel booster pumps enabled the first high-altitude flights. By the mid-1940s, TRW began investing overseas and further diversified its automotive and aircraft businesses.
In the 1950s, the pace of change quickened. The company staked out a position in the growing fields of electronics and missiles through an investment in a young Los Angeles firm, the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation. In 1958 it merged with Thompson Products to form Thompson Ramo Wooldridge, later TRW Inc.
TRW was a national asset in the design and manufacture of unmanned spacecraft for both scientific and defense purposes. TRW's Pioneer 1, the first industry-built satellite, was launched in 1958 as NASA's first step into space. Since then, TRW has built nearly 200 spacecraft.
From the 1960s to the mid-1980s, TRW focused on acquiring businesses with long-term strategic growth potential. In 1986, responding to structural changes in its worldwide markets, TRW divested 13 percent of its sales and repurchased 22 percent of its outstanding shares in order to concentrate on its automotive, space and defense, and information systems businesses. By 1989, TRWs commercial electronics and energy-related businesses, and some minor automotive product lines, had been sold.
In 1991, TRW began a restructuring program, completed in 1993, to divest non-strategic and under-performing assets and to streamline its core businesses. The program's asset sales generated $475 million, which were primarily used to reduce debt and interest expense. Streamlining actions reduced costs by $90 million. In 1996, the information services businesses were sold for $1.1 billion, and TRW took charges for reconfiguring its businesses and for impaired assets. Litigation, warranty, and employee benefit reserves also were established.
In December 1996, TRW announced an alliance with Magna International to design, develop, and produce total vehicle safety systems, and create a joint technical center. TRW eventually acquired all of Magna's steering wheel and air bag businesses.
In order to settle Federal Trade Commission charges, TRW Inc. agreed to divest a portion of the systems engineering and technical assistance (SETA) operations of McLean, Virginia-based BDM International Inc. prior to completing the $942 million acquisition of the company. In its complaint, the FTC stated that TRW's acquisition of BDM would substantially lessen competition in the market for research, development, manufacture and sale of a Ballistic Missile Defense System.
BDM International, Inc. was a multinational information technology company that operates in three interrelated markets: systems and software integration, computer and technical services and enterprise management and operations. The company serves the department of defense, international defense agencies, civil government agencies and commercial clients. During the year 1996, the company acquired CW Systems Inc, IG Systems Inc, Melco Systems Inc, Advanced Systems Design Inc (ASD), RGTI Systems Inc and Software Engineering Inc.
TRW, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, and BDM were each involved in the Department of Defense's Ballistic Missile Defense program. The United Missile Defense Corporation, a joint venture including TRW, was one of two competitors for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization's Lead Systems Integrator (LSI) contract. BDM is the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization's (BMDO) sole supplier of SETA services for the LSI program. In its capacity as SETA contractor for the LSI program, BDM was responsible for, among other things, developing technical and other specifications for the LSI procurement, assessing bid and other proposals submitted by the two competitors, and evaluating the cost and quality performance of the winning bidder.
BDM, Inc was the parent company of Vinnell. Vinnell was contracted by the US government on behalf of the Saudi government, thus its personnel are not considered to be in the direct employ of the Saudis for most legal purposes. Vinnell was selected for award of $163.3 Million Contract for Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program on 03 May 1995.
Northrop Grumman and TRW jointly announced 01 July 2002 that they had entered into a definitive merger agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Northrop Grumman acquired TRW for $60 per share in common stock in a transaction valued at approximately $7.8 billion, plus the assumption of TRW's net debt at the time of closing. TRW was acquired by Northrop Grumman Corporation on 11 December 2002 .
On November 18, 2002, an entity controlled by affiliates of The Blackstone Group L.P. entered into an agreement pursuant to which it agreed to purchase substantially all of the assets and assume substantially all of the liabilities (other than certain indebtedness) associated with TRW's automotive business from Northrop Grumman for a purchase price of $4,443 million (excluding assumed debt of $210 million), subject to post-closing adjustments, of which $3,533 million was paid in cash at closing. Following these transactions, TRW Automotive Acquisition Corp. was renamed TRW Automotive Inc.
TRW Automotive ranks among the world's top 10 largest and most diversified suppliers of automotive systems, modules and components to global vehicle manufacturers and related aftermarkets. TRW Automotive is the leader in active and passive safety systems for the global automotive industry, and its customers comprise all major vehicle manufacturers throughout the world. Products include integrated vehicle control and driver assist systems, braking systems, steering systems, suspension systems, occupant safety systems, electronics, engine valves, fastening systems and aftermarket replacement parts. The company's 2004 sales were $12 billion (USD).
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