Tinkler toppled by debt woes and botched takeover bid

Nathan Tinkler's fortune has plunged by over 50% since last year causing the electrician-turned-mining magnate to tumble to second place on a list of Australia's richest young entrepreneurs.

BRW's 2012 Young Rich List reveals that the mining tycoon's wealth has fallen from AUD$1.13 billion at the time of publication of the list last year to $400 million this year.

Tinkler has been divested of much of his wealth by mounting debt in relation to a failed takeover bid for Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).

Tinkler availed himself of debt funding in an abortive bid to buy up Whitehaven, and used his stake in the company as collateral for subsequent lending. Many now speculate that the debt burden will compel Tinkler to sell off his 21% stake in Whitehaven.

Although still sitting astride an immense $400 million fortune, Tinkler now finds himself besieged by legal action and creditors. Coal peer Blackwood Corporation is currently seeking liquidators to recover $28.4 million from Mulsanne Resources, the mining magnate's flagship enterprise, over failure to make payment for 94 million shares. Tinkler also owes Mirvac a further $17 million over a property transaction.

Tinkler has been displaced from the top spot on BRW's list of richest Australians under 40 by a pair of tech entrepreneurs, Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, who made their fortunes with business software company Atlassian.