Finance

Nathan Tinkler is back: Former high-flyer engineers reverse takeover of Orca Energy

Eloise Keating /

Former billionaire Nathan Tinkler will control a joint 75% share of listed entity Orca Energy and will serve as the company’s executive chairman, if a proposed reverse takeover of the company is approved by shareholders.

Orca Energy informed shareholders of the deal yesterday, saying Tinkler’s Singapore-based company Bentley Resources will team up with Trepang Services, an entity controlled by Nick Paspaley and John Robinson Snr, to invest a total of $20 million in Orca.

The investment will give Bentley and Trepang a combined shareholding of 75%. If Orca shareholders support the deal, Tinkler will serve as Orca’s executive chairman and John Robinson Jnr will join the company’s board as a director.

Orca said in a statement Tinkler is “well known for his entrepreneurial success investing in coal assets in Queensland and NSW and has a history of creating significant shareholder values and attracting major funding”, while Robinson Snr has led numerous private equity acquisitions in the property and retail sectors and has “extensive experience with the support services that the mining and oil and gas sector require at Australian operations”.

“Orca is delighted to have attached the financial support of both Mr Tinkler and Mr Robinson, as well as their corporate experience,” said Orca managing director Greg Bandy.

Orca plans to add another $5 million following the proposed sale of its interests in the Cooper Basin, giving it a total of $25 million to pursue new acquisitions.

In a statement issued to SmartCompany this morning, Tinkler indicated the acquisitions will likely be in the energy sector.

“A number of interesting assets are set to become available in the energy sector over the coming months,” Tinkler said.

“This proposed transaction will ensure we are well placed to move quickly and take advantage of opportunities as they arise.”

The Orca deal comes less than a month after Tinkler was appointed as a strategic corporate adviser to listed mineral exploration company Rumble Resources and less than a year after retail heavyweight Gerry Harvey called in an estimated $40 million debt from the former Rich Lister by selling his beloved Patinack thoroughbred horse farm.

A former Hunter Valley mine electrician, Tinkler made and lost his fortune through speculative coal plays in 2009 and 2012.

After losing his mining fortune when coal prices slumped in 2012, Tinkler attempted to re-enter the coal game in May 2014 with the $150 million purchase of Peabody Energy’s Wilkie Creek mine in Queensland. However, the deal came unstuck when Tinkler missed a payment on the Peabody acquisition just months later.

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Eloise Keating

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.

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