Mulsanne Resources liquidated as Tinkler's business empire buckles under debt

Mulsanne Resources, a shelf company owned by Australian coal magnate Nathan Tinkler, has been placed in liquidation following failure to pony up AUD$28.4 million owed to Blackwood Corporation (ASX:BWD), further adding to the legion of woes besieging the young mining tycoon.

Fairfax reports that Tinkler, a native of the coal rich Hunter Valley region in New South Wales, agreed earlier this year to acquire a 34% stake Blackwood at 30 cents per share, representing a 50% premium on the then share price, via shelf company Mulsanne.

Following Mulsanne's failure to produce the money today the NSW Supreme Court has ordered that the company be wound up and appointed Ferrier Hodgson as liquidators.

If the liquidator finds that Mulsanne lacks sufficient resources to pay for its liabilities to Blackwood Tinkler could face charges of insolvent trading, while the Australian further reports that he also confronts the possibility of personal bankruptcy proceedings for failure to make payment.

Tinkler, a former electrician turned one of Australia's youngest mining tycoons, has found himself beleaguered by legal and fiscal difficulties of late as coal markets falter and companies drag him to court over unpaid debts.

Whitehaven Coal, which with a 19.4% equity represents the mining tycoon's most sizable investment, has seen its shares plunge by nearly a half since a merger in April with Tinkler's Boardwalk Resources. Tinkler's stake in the company has plunged from $1.1 billion in April to $555 million.

Tinkler's Ocean Street Holdings and Buildev Group was also recently ordered by the NSW Supreme Court to settle an $18 million purchase of an industrial site in Newcastle after repeated court appearances and payment delays.

The Novocastrian tycoon's involvement in thoroughbred horses has been especially fraught, with his Patinack Farm only just averting liquidation proceedings last week after settling disputes with several different government bodies for a cumulative sum reportedly in the millions.

Tinkler was also ordered by Racing Victoria to pay over $1 million in outstanding amounts just prior to last month's Caulfield Carnival in Melbourne.

Although Tinkler has a well-established history of deferring debt repayments the Mulsanne case marks the first occasion that one of his companies has been liquidated as a consequence of tardy settlement.