US firm buys half of Tinkler's stake in Whitehaven Coal

American investment firm Farallon Funds bought half of former Australian billionaire Nathan Tinkler's stake in Whitehaven Coal (ASX: WHC)  for $A300 million on Wednesday.

Farallon received 101 million shares, or 9.91%, in the deal which adds onto it's current 5.1% interest in the company, reports the Sydney Morning Herald, and it will purchase a further 1.63% if regulatory authorities approve the transaction.

The firm bought shares at A$2.96 each. On Tuesday, Whitehaven shares had closed at A$2.11 and early Wednesday they were trading at A$2.30 on the Australian bourse.

Another US-based firm, Noonday Asset Management, also bought part of Tinkler's interest.

As a result of the sale, Tinkler – an electrician turned mining businessman – is no longer the largest stakeholder in the coal company, which is his last big investment still listed. Before the deal, he owned 19.4%.

Another US-based firm, Noonday Asset Management, also bought part of Tinkler's interest.

Tinkler owes A$12 million to Australian miner Blackwood Corp. for not following through on a bid for its shares and must pay before June 30.

His debt problems also arose in part from a failed takeover bid for Whitehaven last year.

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