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Ohio company makes bid for Northrop's shipbuilding unit

PASCAGOULA — A small Ohio-based shipbuilding company says it has made an offer to buy defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp.’s shipbuilding unit.

Cleveland Ship, LLC, said in a 21-page news release Sunday that it submitted a bid in late September for Northrop Grumman’s shipbuilding operations. That includes one shipyard in Newport News that employs about 20,000 workers, along with two other major shipyards in Mississippi and Louisiana.

Cleveland Ship did not disclose the value of the offer. The company without its own shipyard is run by a small group of engineers and financiers. Cleveland Ship intends to own the business long term and said its offer “fully satisfies” Northrop Grumman’s objectives and holds “superior value” for its corporation and shareholders.

Northrop Grumman told The Associated Press that it does not comment on such matters, but the nation’s largest shipbuilder said in July that it is studying “strategic alternatives” for its shipbuilding division.

Northrop Grumman is one of the Navy’s main sources of nuclear powered submarines, aircraft carriers and other warships. In 2009, shipbuilding accounted for $6.2 billion of its $33 billion in total revenue.

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