TRW, the military contractor that recently agreed to be sold to Northrop Grumman for $US7.8 billion, is close to a deal to sell its automotive-parts business to a group of financiers for about $5 billion, executives close to the discussions told the New York Times (NYT) yesterday. Citing the executives, the NYT said that TRW hopes to reach a deal with two private equity firms, the Blackstone Group and the Carlyle Group, to sell the unit by the end of the week. The executives cautioned the NYT that the talks could fall apart or be delayed.