Liquidators have been appointed to coal baron Nathan Tinkler's Patinack Farm, which is at the centre of his horse racing interests.
Patinack Farm was wound up in the Federal Court of South Australia yesterday following an unpaid levy to Workcover South Australia of around $17,000.
Tinkler has ploughed somewhere between $200 million and $300 million into Patinack Farm and bought training facilities, stud farms and hundreds of high-quality racehorse.
His stable became one of the biggest in the land but the coal baron was criticised for the speed at which he built his horse racing empire and the price he paid for many of the thoroughbreds.
Rumours have swirled about Patinack Farm's future recently, after Tinkler sold about 300 horses from Patinack Farm, leaving 1,000 racehorses and many more broodmares.
Claims were made that Tinkler was late with payments to his stable staff and that the farm had been unable to pay for horse feed.
Those rumours and claims seem to be well founded now after Anthony Matthews of Anthony Matthews and Associates was appointed as the liquidator of Patinack Farm yesterday.
"The liquidator is currently in discussions with key management and the company's business advisers as to the future of the company and its employees," Matthews said in a statement.
Raymond Nolan, spokesperson for Anthony Matthews and Associates, told SmartCompany a decision would be made on the future of the employees of Patinack Farm today.
"The key issue is going to be whether the liquidator has funds to trade the business," he says.
However, Tim Allerton, spokesperson for Nathan Tinkler, told SmartCompany the liquidation stemmed from an error.
"There was an administrative error in the Workcover matters by an associate company of Patinack Farm and the outstanding monies have been paid," he says.
The liquidation of Patinack Farm follows the liquidation earlier this week of another of Tinkler's private companies, Mulsanne Resources, which was placed in liquidation after failing to come up with $28.4 million owed to coal exploration company Blackwood Corporation.
Tinkler was listed as worth $1.13 billion on last year's Rich List and his main asset is a 19.4% stake in Whitehaven Coal.
However, Tinkler failed in his bids to take control of the mining company this year while it has continued to fall in value.