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Bestfoods (BFO)

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Monday 02 October, 2000

Bestfoods

Merger Update

Bestfoods
29 September 2000


Document dated 28 September 2000

                UNILEVER/BESTFOODS MERGER CLEARED BY EU COMMISSION
              - Remedies package agreed to address connection concerns -

Unilever's  proposed  merger  with  Bestfoods was  today  approved  by  the
European Commission, allowing the transaction to proceed.

As part of the EU clearance decision, Unilever has given commitments to dispose
of certain businesses where the Commission has identified overlap issues. These
are its Bla Band brand in Sweden, Finland and Denmark; its Batchelors brand in
the  UK;  its McDonnells brand in Ireland; and its Oxo and Royco brands in
Europe. It has also agreed to dispose of the Bestfoods' Lesieur range of
mayonnaise products in France.  The combined sales turnover of the businesses to
be sold is EUR 400 million (est. retail value EUR 500 million).

Unilever will conduct the disposal programme so as to serve the best interests
of all its stakeholders. Information and consultation procedures with workers'
representatives and the European Works Council are in progress. Goldman Sachs
has been engaged to assist Unilever in the sales process.

Unilever chairmen, Antony Burgmans and Niall FitzGerald, said; 'We are pleased
that the transaction has been given the green light by the EU Commission. As
anticipated, some parts of our business have to be sold, however the merger with
Bestfoods will bring major international brands into our business.  We are
confident the new organisation will have great potential for delivering rapid
innovation and growth.'

The proposed merger will result in a foods business with a portfolio of leading
international and regional brands, such as Lipton, Knorr, and Hellmann's, and
creates a strong foodservice business within Unilever. Both Companies complement
each other geographically.

Today's decision by the EU Commission gives Unilever and Bestfoods the necessary
regulatory approvals to complete the transaction.  Earlier, on September 9, the
transaction was allowed to proceed in the US.

The proposed transaction remains subject to certain conditions contained in
the merger agreement, including the approval by the shareholders of Bestfoods,
Unilever NV and Unilever PLC.  The Bestfoods and Unilever shareholders meetings
are scheduled for October 2, 2000.

September 28, 2000


Enclosure

Safe Harbour Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995:

    This  press release contains certain 'forward-looking' statements within    
   the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These   
  statements are based on management's current expectations and are             
 naturally subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual          
results may vary materially from the expectations contained herein. The        
'forward-looking statements contained herein include statements about          
completion of the pending acquisition of Bestfoods by Unilever.  Factors
    that  could  cause actual results to differ materially from those described 
   herein include: the inability to obtain necessary antitrust approvals        
  and actions of the U.S. foreign  and local governments.  More detailed        
 information about these factors is set forth in the reports filed by           
Bestfoods and furnished by Unilever with the Securities and Exchange           
Commission.  Neither Unilever nor Bestfoods is under any obligation to (and    
expressly disclaims any such obligation to) update or alter its  forward-      
looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events      
or otherwise.

    In  connection with the merger, Bestfoods has filed a definitive proxy      
   statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and mailed copies of   
  this definitive  proxy statement to Bestfoods security holders.
    SECURITY HOLDERS OF BESTFOODS ARE URGED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT         
   BECAUSE IT CONTAINS IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING THE MERGER. Investors    
  and security holders may obtain a free copy of the proxy statement and        
 other documents filed by Bestfoods with and furnished by Unilever to, the      
Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the merger at the        
Securities and Exchange Commission's website at www.sec.gov.  Security         
holders of Bestfoods may also obtain for free a copy of the proxy              
statement and other documents filed with the Securities and Exchange
    Commission by Bestfoods in connection with the merger by contacting  Rainer
    H. Mimberg, Investor Relations, +1 201 894 2837. Security holders of        
   Bestfoods may also obtain for free copies of documents furnished to          
  the Securities and Exchange Commission by Unilever in connection with the     
 merger by contacting  Howard Green, Investor Relations,  +44 207 822 6824.


                                                                                
      

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