Wesfarmers launches a takeover bid for CSBP

Cuming Smith & Mt Lyall Farmers Fertilisers Ltd had changed its name to CSBP & Farmers in 1964 and taken over its main rival Cresco in 1970. General Manager John Bennison identified CSBP as the acquisition that would propel Wesfarmers into a new era of growth and prosperity. Taking over sole manufacture of superphosphate in Western Australia would uphold the co-operative imperative and open the way to a much wider field of industrial operations. However, Wesfarmers was capitalised at $20 million and CSBP would cost three times that. Undaunted, on 25 October 1977, Wesfarmers announced a bid of $60 million, the largest takeover Australia had seen. It would take nearly two years to seal the deal.