Tinkler's stud staff in wait for pay

NATHAN Tinkler is understood to have been given until today to stump up $240,000 to cover wages for staff of his Patinack Farm thoroughbred stud, if he wants a chance of pulling the operation back out of liquidation.

The Adelaide-based Anthony Matthews, appointed last week as liquidator of Patinack Farm Administration after an administrative error resulted in it failing to pay a $17,000 debt to WorkCover SA, is expected to give an update today and contact all employees asking for evidence of any further debts.

It is understood the full amount owed to creditors by Patinack Farm Administration, which was the main employment arm of the operation, could be between $5million and $6million. 

That amount is owed in unpaid wages and superannuation, taxes and workers’ compensation premiums. 

It is understood Mr Tinkler’s lawyers have provided assurances that all creditors of the company would be fully repaid in three to four weeks.

 Mr Tinkler’s personal financial situation is the subject of intense speculation, and his own debts – concentrated with Singapore hedge fund Farallon – are reported to now amount to more than  $600million. 

Citing unidentified sources, Bloomberg reported that Mr Tinkler had been given until the end of this month to repay $200million or Farallon would consider taking control of his main asset, a 19.4per cent stake in Whitehaven Coal.

  Fairfax Media understands neither the $200million repayment amount, nor the  deadline, are correct but a spokesman for Mr Tinkler would not comment and Farallon did not respond.

Whitehaven shares closed down 5¢ at $2.81, valuing Mr Tinkler’s stake at $553million – roughly half the $1.1billion it was worth in April, after a three-way merger with the listed Aston Resources and the private Tinkler Group entity Boardwalk Resources.

Patinack Farm Administration, one of at least a dozen companies involved in the stud, is one of two Tinkler Group entities in liquidation. The other is Mulsanne Resources, which Ferrier Hodgson is winding up after it failed to make a $28.4million payment to the listed coal explorer Blackwood Corporation, for a share placement.

 A third company, Tinkler Group Holdings Administration, is also facing a wind-up after the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation appeared in the NSW Supreme Court last Friday and was given until December 10 to replace the NSW Chief Commissioner of State Revenue as petitioning creditor. The company also owes an unspecified amount of money to another creditor, the law firm Sparke Helmore.

Elsewhere, the Irish Times reported that Sheikh Mohammed’s Kildangan Stud in Ireland has started legal proceedings against Mr Tinkler in relation to allegedly unpaid stud fees.

Patinack Farm will hold another unreserved auction, this time of more than 40 brood mares, in Sydney next month. 

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