Marmite maker Unilever (NYSE: UL - news) has called for rules governing takeovers to be made fairer on companies facing overseas corporate raids - after it resisted a £115bn offer from Kraft Heinz (Swiss: KHC.SW - news) .
Anglo-Dutch Unilever - which makes well-known brands such as Persil, Dove, Pot Noodle, PG Tips and Marmite - thinks firms facing offers should have more time to defend themselves.
Mr Polman said: "We're not talking about protection; we are saying that when you have a situation like this, with a national champion, there should be a level playing field."
His remarks were first reported by the Financial Times.
:: Kraft withdrawal cleans up potential mess for Theresa May
Unilever wants takeover rules to be changed to consider the wider interests involved in a company, beyond shareholders, the FT reported, and pointed to such rules already existing in the Netherlands.
It also said the 28-day deadline for firms eyeing a takeover - known as "put up or shut up" - gave little time for a target company to prepare its defences when its suitor might have spent a year or more preparing a bid.
Kraft Heinz's abortive attempt to swallow up Unilever could have produced a headache for Theresa May after she pledged to introduce a "national interest" test for takeovers.
But the offer was abandoned just days after being made public last month.