BKK Partners Pty, which advised Nathan Tinkler on his failed A$5.3 billion ($5.4 billion) bid for Whitehaven Coal Ltd. (WHC), sought to push the former billionaire’s holding company into bankruptcy for not paying its bills.
BKK sued in Federal Court in Sydney, claiming Tinkler Group Pty failed to pay A$220,000 for advisory work done to Nov. 1, 2012, according to an application to appoint a liquidator filed April 22. A hearing is scheduled for May 22.
Tinkler, an electrician-turned-entrepreneur who owns about a fifth of the outstanding shares of Whitehaven Coal, was ranked as Australia’s youngest billionaire at the age of 35 by BRW magazine in 2011 after he sold his house in 2006 to help buy a A$30 million Middlemount coal lease in Queensland.
He testified in court in March in a separate case that he’s living on an allowance he gets from his wife who controls a A$1.4 billion trust.
Tim Allerton, a spokesman for Tinkler at City Public Relations, declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Tinkler’s Mulsanne Resources Pty was ordered liquidated by a New South Wales state judicial officer on Nov. 20 after the company failed to pay A$28.4 million for shares in coal developer Blackwood Corp. His Patinack Farm Administration Pty was put in liquidation a day later by a federal judge in Adelaide over a debt to Workcover Corp. of South Australia.
Tinkler lost ownership of his personal jet and helicopter after a financing company pushed TGHA Aviation Pty into receivership on Nov. 23.
He has avoided other of his companies being pushed into bankruptcy with settlements at the last minute, including an October agreement with Mirvac Group (MGR) over a failed property deal.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported the BKK lawsuit earlier and said Tinkler and his wife Rebecca were also sued personally in the New South Wales Supreme Court in Sydney over the same debts.
The Supreme Court confirmed in an e-mail a lawsuit was filed April 22. No documents deemed publicly accessible are available at this time, even though a statement of claim was filed, according to the court. A hearing on the Supreme Court lawsuit is scheduled for July 29.
The federal lawsuit is BKK Partners Pty v. Tinkler Group Pty. NSD699/2013. Federal Court of Australia (Sydney).
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