The heat has been turned up in the bid battle for Mr Kipling cakes firm Premier Foods after Schwartz spice owner McCormick & Company tabled its third approach for the business, worth £537 million.
The US spice and herbs giant put forward a proposal worth 65p a share for Premier, which also owns Oxo and Sharwood's.
Premier rejected McCormick's first offer of 52p in cash per share, and a second at 60p in cash per share, saying they ''significantly'' undervalued its future growth.
The latest twist in the takeover saga comes as Premier Foods revealed last week that Japanese noodle giant Nissin Foods had bought a 17.27% stake in the business at 63p per share.
But the US firm said its latest sweetened proposal "should be well received by Premier Foods' shareholders, employees, pensioners, creditors, and other stakeholders".
It added: "McCormick continues to believe that, with its 127-year heritage, it would be an outstanding custodian for the Premier Foods brands."
It said its deal would be attractive whether Nissin continued to co-operate with Premier or not.