The controversy surrounding mining Rich Lister Nathan Tinkler continues to swell, with a small construction business placed in administration earlier this month now reportedly amid the companies awaiting payment from the billionaire’s construction empire.
The revelation comes after reports in Fairfax that Tinkler failed to meet superannuation payments for workers at racing company Patinack Farm, fuelling speculation of personal financial turmoil.
Construction firm Fraser Commercial was placed in voluntary administration earlier this month. It had reportedly been owed $200,000 from Bolkm, the construction arm of Tinkler’s Buildev empire, although that amount has been reduced to $33,000.
SmartCompany contacted Fraser Commercial this morning, but its phone lines did not appear to be manned. However, managing director Mitch Fraser told Fairfax that Bolkm “had us on the drip for a long time”.
“We were barely surviving and I was at my wits’ end,” he said, adding that he sold personal assets in order to pay debts.
”It is unbelievable that this is happening when you look at Tinkler’s high-rolling lifestyle. He bought the [Newcastle] Knights and the Jets but so many people can’t get paid what they are genuinely owed.”
A spokesperson for Bolkm was also contacted by SmartCompany, but declined to comment.
It is claimed seven businesses in total are attempting to recoup debts from both Patinack Farm and Bolkm. Others include Alice Russell, head of Mudgee Chaff and Grain Milling, who was owed $17,000 initially, and now just $3,500.
”We always felt sorry for the Patinack employees; it wasn’t their fault. But … I want nothing more to do with his [Tinkler’s] business,” she told Fairfax.
Rob Atherton also claimed he was owed $50,000 for some roofing work.
This comes just days after it was reported staff at Patinack Farm have not been paid their superannuation since November and were told the delays were due to cashflow management.
It also comes as Tinkler attempts to offload the horse racing operation – for which he has paid an estimated $200-300 million. He reportedly failed to sell the entire racing division to Sheikh Fahad al-Thani for $200 million last week. Instead, he’s turned to Gerry Harvey to sell 350 horses through the Magic Millions auction company.
This also comes alongside two separate and equally disappointing financial ventures. Tinkler is attempting to buy Whitehaven Coal in a multi-billion dollar takeover, but is having trouble winning over existing shareholders.
Tinkler has also missed two deadlines to take a stake in coal company Blackwood Corp.