Unilever made an unsolicited cash offer to acquire Bestfoods for $66 a share, or about $18.4 billion. That offer would represent a substantial premium over Bestfoods' Tuesday closing price of 50 9/16.
The offer which comes just eight months after Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based Bestfoods aborted merger discussions with
H.J. Heinz Co.
to create the second-biggest U.S. food company behind Kraft Foods. Bestfoods called Unilever's offer inadequate in a statement released late Tuesday.