A bout of international bidding has broken out over the aerospace and missile divisions of LTV. On Apr. 1, as expected, Thomson CSF, the defense and electronics giant that's 60%-owned by the French government, bid $280 million for the missile unit, while the Carlyle Group, a Washington investment bank, offered $120 million for the aircraft parts business. LTV had agreed in February to sell both divisions for $355 million to a new company jointly owned by Martin Marietta and Lockheed.

Martin and Lockheed are not likely to bump their bid. Instead, they are relying on political opposition to a foreign sale and LTV's own stated preference to force Thomson and Carlyle out of the race.

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