|This article is missing information about basic biographical details such as his early years and education, and significant career milestones. (August 2012)|
1 February 1976 |
Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia
|Occupation||Director and Owner Tinkler Group|
|Net worth||A$235 million (2013)|
Nathan Tinkler (born 1 February 1976) is a former mining magnate and businessman from the Hunter Region, New South Wales, Australia. He started out as a mining apprentice in the Hunter Valley, in New South Wales and set up his own business at age 26. Much of his wealth, most subsequently lost, was acquired from investments in the mining industry.
Born in Port Macquarie, New South Wales on 1 February 1976, Tinkler qualified as an electrician at Muswellbrook TAFE. He worked as an apprentice at BHP's Bayswater open-cut mine for a time until he was either fired or given a redundancy package. He was allegedly often in debt during his time at the mine and refused to pay or abused his creditors. At the age of 26 he started his own mine machinery maintenance business.
His rise began in 2006 when he borrowed A$500,000 to buy the Middlemount coal mine in Central Queensland for A$11.5 million. In December 2007 he agreed to sell 70% of Middlemount to Macarthur Coal for A$57 million in cash plus a parcel of Macarthur shares valued at A$184 million. Then Macarthur became a takeover target and its share price doubled. In May 2008 Tinkler sold his Macarthur shares for A$422 million. By 2008 he was on the BRW Young Rich list, quoted as being worth about A$441 million, and the second-richest man in Australia under 40 years of age.
Tinkler lived previously in Merewether Beach, however, in June 2012, Tinkler sold his home in Merewether and moved to live in Singapore with his family. In July 2010, Tinkler floated the company Aston Resources with A$400 million worth of shares offered, leaving Tinkler with A$600 million worth of the company.
On 22 September 2010, Football Federation Australia announced that Tinkler had purchased the A-League club Newcastle Jets from Con Constantine, on the advice from fellow mining magnate Justin Newlan, holding the licence temporarily. On 2 October 2010, he extended his ownership until 2020, further advised by Justin Newlan. 
The Newcastle Jets hosted a community day at which 10,000 fans were admitted free for the clash against Melbourne Heart on 31 October 2010. Membership of the club increased to over 10,000 and the club obtained the Hunter Medical Research Institute as a new sponsor.
On 31 March 2011 Tinkler assumed ownership of the Newcastle Knights rugby league club by a landslide vote of the eligible club members. The Knights signed Wayne Bennett to a four-year coaching contract with the club, starting in 2012.
In April 2012 Tinkler handed back the Newcastle Jets A-league licence to the FFA. The Federation said that Tinkler's Hunter Sports Group could not just hand back its licence, and was breaching a binding contract by walking away from the Jets. Federation chief executive Ben Buckley refused to rule out the possibility of launching a huge damages claim against Tinkler that could go as high as $80 million.
In April 2012, Tinkler was worth over A$1.18 billion, but this had dropped to A$630 million by September 2012, due to slowing demand and dropping coal prices. Several of Tinkler's companies were facing financial challenges, with one company potentially facing administration.
On Melbourne Cup day 2012, Tinkler's private horse racing trainer, John Thompson, revealed that Tinkler's stable of horses had been forced to go without feed because the group was unable to pay suppliers. Thompson also said that Tinkler's racing and breeding company, Patinack Farm, had been asked to leave its Hawkesbury private training facility because "the owner of the property just got sick of us being late with our rent". However a spokesman for Tinkler said Patinack Farm had never run out of feed.
In December 2012, the Australian Taxation Office filed court documents to wind up Tinkler's Hunter Sports Group, which owns the Newcastle Jets and Newcastle Knights. The action came two weeks after two of Tinkler's companies were placed into liquidation. Hunter Sports Group owed around A$2.7 million in unpaid taxes and was notified of this debt in September 2012.
On 18 February 2013, it was reported that the liquidator of Nathan Tinkler's private company, Patinack Farm Administration, was considering an insolvent trading claim against Tinkler and his fellow director Troy Palmer. On 2 April 2013 it was revealed that Tinkler had put his entire racing and breeding business up for sale, including stock and properties.
In May 2013, it was reported that Tinkler and his wife could be made bankrupt over A$440,000 in allegedly unpaid bills to a corporate adviser. The same month, the BRW Rich 200 estimated that Tinkler was beset by a series of debt problems and falling asset values that devalued his 2012 net wealth of A$915 million to A$235 million.
On 19 June 2013 it was announced that Tinkler's biggest remaining asset, a 19 per cent share in coal miner Whitehaven, had been bought by his main financial backers including Farallon Management. It was estimated that the sale price of $2.96 per share represented a substantial loss by Tinkler's backers on their loans to him. Nevertheless, the sale of Tinkler's share in Whitehaven was seen as part of his struggle to repay debts accumulated by other parts of his crumbling empire. The funds raised by the sale of his Whitehaven shares enabled Tinkler to repay a $12 million debt to coal exploration company Blackwood Resources on 27 June, a day ahead of schedule.
On 3 September 2013 Aston Metals, owned by Tinkler was placed in the control of receivers. Aston Metals is a base metals explorer that owns five projects around Mt Isa.
On 21 May 2014 it was reported that contracts had been exchanged to sell Patinack Farm, for an undisclosed sum, to a consortium consisting of "local and overseas parties from the Middle East".
At a hearing of the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on 28 April 2014, it was revealed that Tinkler's Patinack Farm horse stud paid $66,000 to "Eightbyfive", a slush fund set up by an advisor to the allegedly corrupt NSW politician Chris Hartcher. A few days later, text messages presented at the commission revealed that Tinkler's property development company Buildev had secretly paid $50,000 to produce anonymous flyers attacking local state parliamentarian Jodi McKay in the lead-up to the 2011 state election, because she opposed the billion-dollar plan by Buildev to establish a coal terminal in Newcastle.
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- Hooper, Chloe (February 2014) Walking with Dinosaurs, The Monthly pp 30
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- Manning, Paddy (18 February 2013). "Insolvent trading claim against Tinkler still possible". The Age (Australia). Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- Sharkie, Michael (2 April 2013). "Tinkler walks away from racing". The Age. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
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- Robins, Brian (2013-06-27). "Tinkler settles debt - a day early". The Age. Retrieved 2013-06-27.
- AAP (3 September 2013) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-03/tinkler-company-enters-receivership/4932286
- Kruger, Colin (21 May 2014). "Nathan Tinkler sells Patinack Farm". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- Whitbourne, Michaela; McClymont, Kate; Nicholls, Sean (2014-04-28). "ICAC hears Chris Hartcher corruption claims as Liberal MP Marie Ficarra steps aside". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
- Whitbourn, Michaela, & McClymont, Kate (2014-05-07). "'Whatever it takes': ICAC hears Nathan Tinkler's plans to get rid of Labor MP Jodi McKay". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2014-05-07.