Wesfarmers Limited is a conglomerate with interests spanning across industries like fertilizers, chemicals, coal, safety and industrial products.
Image: company website
It is based out of Perth in Western Australia, and by 2015 numbers, it is the largest Australian company by revenue at 47.4 billion dollars with a profit of 1.8 billion dollars. With over 205000 employees, the company is the largest private employer in Australia.
It was formed in 1914 as a cooperative and has since then diversified and grew into a major conglomerate. In 1984, it went public by listing on the Australian Stock Exchange. It has diversified its interests through a series of related diversification. Richard Godyer leads the executive team of Wesfarmers as its Managing Director. The company inculcates core values of integrity, openness, boldness and accountability.
Wesfarmers business include supermarkets, hotels and convenience stores, liquor, office supplies, department stores etc. It is one of the largest in terms of shareholder base with around 500,000 shareholders. The company is divided into several divisions each supporting a different business. Coles, which was purchased by Wesfarmers in 2007 was national supermarket, liquor and fuel convenience retailer in Australia. Coles is supposed to be one of the biggest advertisers in the Australian continent. The purchase of Coles was one of the largest ever deal in Australian corporate history. The Home improvement and office supplies division consists of Bunnings Warehouse and Officeworks. Combined, both of them specialize in home and living products, business and education products across Australia. Kmart and Target constitute its department store division. They employ more than 50,000 employees combined. Industrial and Safety, commercials, energy, fertilizers and resources for its other divisions. Wesfarmers also holds stakes in Private equity firms and investment houses.