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Tinkler Wins Delay on Mirvac’s Contempt Request Over Land Deal

Nathan Tinkler, the largest shareholder in Whitehaven Coal Ltd., won more time to defend himself against a bid to hold his companies in contempt of court over a failed property deal with Mirvac Group.

Mirvac wants a judge to hold Buildev Group Pty and Ocean Street Holdings Pty in contempt after they failed to comply with an Aug. 1 order to complete the purchase of industrial land north of Sydney by Sept. 1. New South Wales Supreme Court Registrar Andrew Musgrave today gave Tinkler’s lawyers until Sept. 18 to prepare their defense.

Tinkler, an electrician-turned-miner, scrapped a A$5.3 billion ($5.5 billion) initial offer for Whitehaven last month, giving the company no reason for not proceeding with the bid, according to Chief Executive Officer Tony Haggarty. That came as coal explorer Blackwood Corp. said Aug. 31 it began a lawsuit to recover money after Tinkler’s Mulsanne Resources Pty missed a deadline to complete the purchase of A$28.4 million of shares in the company.

Tinkler’s “financial difficulties are a matter of some notoriety,” Jason Lazarus, a lawyer representing Mirvac’s Domaine Steel Pty unit, told Musgrave at a hearing in Sydney today.

Tim Allerton, a spokesman for Tinkler at City Public Relations, declined to comment on the hearing. Documents filed in the case weren’t immediately available from the court registrar’s office.

Buildev and Ocean Street were ordered by NSW Supreme Court Justice John Sackar on Aug. 1 to complete the purchase of Steel River Echo Industrial Estate by Sept. 1. The acquisition wasn’t completed.

Mirvac wanted the case to be heard before a judge today, while Michael Wigney, a lawyer representing Ocean Street, said the company needed time to put together evidence.

The case is Domaine Steel Pty v. Ocean Street Holdings Pty. 2012/00126536. Supreme Court of New South Wales (Sydney).

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