Acquisition of Howard Smith

Wesfarmers acquisition of Howard Smith Limited for $2.7 billion, including its BBC hardware network, doubled the size of Bunnings and transformed it into an iconic national brand.

In the process, it also gained a major industrial supplies business which markets some 400,000 products under brands including Blackwoods.

These enterprises were amalgamated into a new Industrial and Safety Division, becoming a significant Wesfarmers business in its own right.