Unilever shareholders will be asked to approve the acquisition of Bestfoods at extraordinary general meetings in London and Rotterdam on Monday, October 2, 2000.Agreement to acquire Bestfoods was announced on June 6. It is subject to both shareholder approval and regulatory clearances. Unilever and Bestfoods have filed for anti-trust clearance from the Federal Trade Commission in the United States and Unilever has formally filed today, August 16, with the European Commission.In a shareholder circular published today, the Unilever chairmen Niall FitzGerald and Antony Burgmans write: "The acquisition of Bestfoods will bring into the Unilever family of companies an outstanding international foods business."The acquisition is directly in line with Unilever's Path to Growth strategy which requires the focus of resources on leading brands with enduring consumer appeal. "The focused Bestfoods range of products exhibits just these characteristics. Indeed, the Board believes that the acquisition will accelerate our strategy and provide a platform for expansion into new channels, markets and regions," the chairmen write.They conclude: "As the integration of the businesses proceeds, we will ensure that the very best resources, whether derived from Unilever or Bestfoods, are used to drive our combined business forward to create the pre-eminent global food and consumer products business."Note to Editors:The extraordinary general meetings of Unilever PLC and Unilever N.V. will be held at: Unilever House, Blackfriars, London EC4P 4BQ, on Monday, October 2, 2000 at 9.30 a.m. and at Unilever House, Weena 455, 3013 AL Rotterdam, on Monday, October 2, 2000 at 10 a.m.It is expected that the Bestfoods' shareholder meeting will be held on or about October 2. Details to be announced by Bestfoods in due course.The text of the shareholder circular may be accessed on