Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch consumer products company, announced yesterday that it intends to divest Bestfoods Baking Company in the U.S.A. The business was acquired as part of Unilever's merger with Bestfoods that closed on October 4. Bestfoods Baking Company is a leading fresh baked goods company in the U.S. and in 1999 had sales of U.S.$1.7 billion. Headquartered in Bay Shore, New York, it has 19 plants across the country selling mainly to retailers. Unilever commented that the US baking business, although successful, falls outside of Unilever's strategy which focuses on a reduced number of brands in defined categories. Goldman Sachs has been engaged to assist Unilever in the sale process.