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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Nathan Tinkler, gambler

Nathan Tinkler is a gambler who took risks and made a fortune. He started out as an electrician and worked in the Hunter Valley mines and made some clever investments that paid off big time. 

In 2006 he bought Middlemount coal mine for $11.5 million and in 2007 he sold 70 per cent to Macarthur Coal for $57 million in cash plus a parcel of Macarthur shares valued at $184 million.  In 2008 he sold them for $422 million.  Nuff said.

Newcastle Knight supporters

Things went well for a while but then he started running up bills everywhere.  His stable of horses at Patinack Farm had to leave their Hawkesbury private training facility because he didn't pay the rent. Then the tax office filed documents to wind up his Hunter Sports Group which owns the Newcastle Jets and Newcastle Knights.  Two weeks before, two of his companies were placed in liquidation.

Tinkler with wife Rebecca and John Singleton

Tinkler committed a terrible sin and because he was from a working-class background, it's unforgivable - he took the little Aussie battler for a ride.  Tim Curry, an electrician, who installed power lines on a horse stud owned by Patinack said "He's a grub, and doesn't pay his bills."

Trades people and others, who hocked their homes to start a small business, spent thousands on labour and supplies in good faith, before the word got around that the name Tinkler was on the nose.

He lost his own home in 2004 after defaulting on mortgage payments and Singleton Council sent the sheriff in to repossess the contents of his home for a $1,400 unpaid debt for rates. Five years later he was on the BRW Rich List worth $400 million.

But not paying his bills isn't his only character flaw, he's a ruthless boss.  He employed good people and had them frog-marched out the door by elite SAS soldiers he hired for security, if they did or said something he didn't like. 

You can get the measure of a man by his texts and one of his ex employees kept one.  It reads:  :.  "No thanks. Ur just another c*** that I give an opportunity to, wasn't up to it and dogged me everywhere so f*** off. I check the paper for your funeral notice you f**** deadbeat."

A former business associate once told him "Nathan, you're like someone who goes to the casino and puts everything on 34 Red." He took it as a compliment and started signing his emails "34 Red."

When Tinkler's luck finally ran out, he had no choice but to sacrifice his 19 per cent share in Whitehaven Coal.  Although he is now clear of a possible freeze of his Australian assets, and has settled his income tax issues, he's still in debt to his main lender, hedge fund Farallon Capital.  They will recover about $565 million, but it's not enough to repay the principal, let alone the accumulated interest.

Yearling sales

Tinkler told the NSW Supreme Court that his wife was the sole owner of the Tinkler Group Family Trust and he gets an allowance from her every quarter.

Some people are saying not to write him off, that he'll be back because he's only 37.  Only time will tell.

He lives with his family in Singapore.