Mining (Euronext: SMI.NX - news) magnate Nathan Tinkler could see the end of his rags-to-riches fortune built on Australia’s commodities boom as he faces legal action over unpaid bills, it emerged on Friday.
The New South Wales Supreme Court yesterday granted the Australian deputy commissioner of taxation permission to prepare a case against the former billionaire’s holding company, in the latest of a slew of lawsuits concerning debt and commercial disputes.
Further adding to Mr Tinkler’s woes, court documents showed an Irish racehorse stud farm, the Kildangan Stud, owned by the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has subpoenaed Mr Tinkler personally to provide information in an unrelated case relating to a “commercial matter”.
Mr Tinkler, 36, enjoyed a heady rise from a job as a mining pit electrician to become Australia’s youngest billionaire in just a few years. His empire also included horse racing and sports clubs but sliding coal prices hit his net worth and a series of lawsuits have followed.
Liquidators were appointed this week to two firms of which he is director, Patinack Farm Administration and Mulsanne Resources, over debts of more than 28m Australian dollars (£18m). Mr Tinkler paid creditors A$500,000 this week to stop wind-up petitions against Tinkler Group Holdings. The relief was short-lived as the Australian tax office stepped in to take over the action as a potential creditor. The tax office has until December 10 to prepare a case against the company.
Patinack Farm, which owns the winning Kildangan mare Happy Hippy, was wound up in court this week following claims Mr Tinkler owed around A$17,000 in levies, was late with payments to staff and had been unable to pay for horse feed.
The latest creditor, Internet Fraud Watchdog, said Tinkler Group had provided evidence it had paid the money owed, plus costs and interests, and expected to drop its winding-up action. A second creditor, Gilbert + Tobin, was paid earlier this week, a spokesman said. Mr Tinkler’s spokesman could not be reached for comment.