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New York’s Cravath, Swaine & Moore and London’s Slaughter & May are representing the international conglomerate Unilever in its $24.3 billion proposed acquisition of Englewood Cliffs, N.J.’s Bestfoods. Bestfoods has hired New York’s Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson as primary counsel and Washington, D.C.’s Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering as U.S. antitrust and European competition counsel. The Cravath attorneys are partners Peter S. Wilson, Daniel P. Cunningham, Michael L. Schler, Jeffrey A. Smith and John E. Beerbower; senior associate Henry I. Morgenbesser; and associates Mark I. Greene, Andrew R. Thompson, Patricia C. Lee and William S. Dixon. The Slaughter & May attorneys are partners Michael Pescod, Christopher Saul, Gary Earborn and Malcolm Nicholson; and associates Jan Putnis and Michael Rowe. The lead Unilever in-house attorneys are Steve Williams, general counsel of Unilever P.L.C.; Jos Westerburger, corporate secretary of Unilever N.V.; and, from Unilever U.S., Ronald M. Soiefer, general counsel; A. Peter Harwich, associate general counsel; and Philip G. Cohen, general tax counsel. The Fried Frank attorneys are partners Arthur Fleischer Jr., Jean E. Hanson, Laraine S. Rothenberg, John C. Sullivan and Richard A. Wolfe; and associates Emma M. Bailey, Christopher V. Blum, Jarret A. Kahn, Christopher J. Kopka, Deborah Lifshey, Douglas J. Pepe, Sandeep Sharma and Allana F. Stark. The Wilmer Cutler attorneys are partners William J. Kolasky and Robert Bell, in Washington, D.C., and John Ratliff, in Brussels; and D.C. associates Martin Ramirez, Augusto Repetto and Janet Ridge. Bestfoods’ lead in-house attorneys are Eduardo D. Sanchez, general counsel; and Marjory A. Appel, corporate secretary and senior group counsel. The $24.3 billion purchase price includes about $4 billion in assumed debt. The transaction is expected to close within three to four months, said Fleischer.

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