Coal baron Tinkler faces arrest: But don’t count him out yet

Former billionaire Nathan Tinkler has fallen further into ignominy and will be forced to turn up to public examinations into his finances tomorrow or face possible arrest.

Tinkler lost a NSW Supreme Court bid yesterday to declare the examinations of his failed company Mulsanne Resources an “abuse of process” and will now have to turn up to court.

Blackwood Corporation liquidated Mulsanne Resources late last year after it failed to proceed with a deal to buy a one-third stake in the listed coal company for $28.4 million.

The Australian reports that in negotiating to have the public examinations dropped, Tinkler late last week offered to pay Blackwood $15 million of the debt outstanding but Blackwood rejected the offer.

He has been desperately trying to block attempts by Mulsanne’s lawyers to reveal his 2011 taxable income was just $9,000.

While his woes continue to build, it’s too early to write the coal baron off yet.

He’s been here before and has bounced back from winding up his main business, Custom Mining, in 2007.

Plus, while he has dropped off the rich list, Tinkler still has a lot going for him thanks to being asset rich but cash poor.

His 19.4% stake in Whitehaven Coal may have declined in value after the company lost 41% of its value in the past 12 months, but it’s still worth about $500 million. Tinkler also continues to cling to his Patinack Farm horse racing empire, property and sporting clubs.

Because his assets are spread across so many different interests, it’s difficult to put a finger on the real state of Tinkler’s finances.

Perhaps the court tomorrow will have some luck doing that.

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