Oz sets taxman on coal baron Tinkler
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Andrew Korbel, a partner at Corrs Chambers Westgarth, who represented Tinkler Group Holdings Administration on Friday declined to comment outside court. Tim Allerton, a Sydney-based spokesman for Tinkler, also declined to comment.
Court documents show the Kildangan Stud Unlimited subpoena is to be heard by another New South Wales state court next week. Kildangan is part of Darley, the global breeding operation owned by Sheikh Mohammed, a keen equestrian and breeder with horse studs around the world. Located in County Kildare, Ireland, the Kildangan Stud is home to eight stallions, including Sharmadal, the sire of two winning mares, Marquardt and Happy Hippy, bought by Tinkler's Patinack Farm.
"This is a commercial matter between Kildangan Stud and Mr Tinkler relating to thoroughbred stallion nominations and we have no further comment on the matter," Darley's managing director Joe Osborne told Reuters in an email. Stallion nominations involve fees for broodmares to mate with selected stallions.
Tinkler spent millions of dollars building Patinack into Australia's largest thoroughbred racing and stud operation. He built his empire spanning horse racing, sports clubs and coal on debt, scraping together A$1 million from lenders for an underrated coal deposit that quickly soared in value. He then leveraged his gains in a series of bold moves, culminating in the $5 billion merger of his companies Aston Resources and Boardwalk Resources with Whitehaven this year.
But Nehme said the combined legal actions raise the spectre of several unpleasant scenarios for Tinkler, including civil and criminal charges if he is found to have been operating the liquidated companies while they were insolvent. The value of Tinkler's holding in Whitehaven has shrunk below A$600 million from A$1.1 billion at its peak as Chinese demand for coal cooled.
Sources previously told Reuters the stake is heavily leveraged. His main backer, U.S. hedge fund manager Farallon Capital Management LLC's asset manager Noonday, has been looking at options including pressing for the sale of shares or converting some of the loans into equity.
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