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Word Count: 3,441
West Farmers was founded in 1914 as a farmers co-operative The corporation went public in 1984 In the following year the corporation acquired 50 interest in investment bank Gresham Partners This was soon followed by the acquisition of CSBP Farmers in 1986 In 1987 the corporation purchased Charlie Carter supermarket chain and acquired 97 interest in Bunnings Two years later the corporation acquired Western Collieries Acquisitions in 1991 included a 25 interest in the Bengalla coal deposit in the Hunter Valley non-automotive LPG business of Gogas Australia and Federation Insurance In the following year the corporation increased its shareholding in Bunnings to 446 West Farmers acquired McEwans retail hardware group and Dalgety Farmers in 1993 In 1994 the West Farmers sold Masters Dairy and later in the year it expanded total control over Bunnings 1995 saw the sale of West Farmers Bunnings three manufacturing production Sterlands Du Feu Metal and The Roofing Centre The corporation acquired the remaining 50 stake in Total Western Transport from Westrail in 1996 Two years later it sold its Charlie Center supermarket chain In 2000 the corporation acquired the Westrail Frieght business through Australian Railroad Group This was followed by the takeover of Howard Smith and 65 interest in Statewest power in 2001 The year 2003 saw the acquisition of Paykel New Zealand sale of rural services business Landmark and acquisition of Lumley Insurance Groups Australian and New Zealand operations In August 2004 the corporation exited its forest products business by selling Soticos jarrah business to Gunns Australias hardwood forest products corporation Major Products Services West Farmers is one of the largest public companies in Australia The corporation provides the following products and services Building material retailing Home improvement retailing Energy Gas processing and distribution Coal mining Industrial and safety products Chemicals Fertilizers Insurance Rail transportation West Farmers operates in six business segments hardware energy chemicals and fertilizers industrial and safety insurance and other actions
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