Financiers take a $50m hit on exposure to Tinkler deal

Financiers to the beleaguered Nathan Tinkler appear to have taken a haircut of about $50 million on their identifiable exposure on the deal, outlined on Wednesday when the financiers seized control of his 20 per cent block of shares in Whitehaven.

Financiers to the beleaguered Nathan Tinkler appear to have taken a haircut of about $50 million on their identifiable exposure on the deal, outlined on Wednesday when the financiers seized control of his 20 per cent block of shares in Whitehaven.

A detailed statement lodged with the ASX on Thursday indicates that the total size of the Tinkler loan raised against his holding in Whitehaven, a coalminer, was $US634 million ($669 million).

Mr Tinkler's block of about 200 million Whitehaven shares was taken off him at $2.96 a share, with the prospect of a further top-up payment being made if the shares trade above this price for a sustained period between February and March next year.

Wednesday's move by Mr Tinkler's financial backers was worth about $600 million, leaving them short by more $US34 million, with the recent slide in the Australian dollar adding to their losses.

On Thursday, the US investor Burlingham International and some associates, said they had bought a tranche of the Tinkler debt in April 2012 from Credit Suisse Singapore, picking up $US12.54 million of the $US634 million loan at face value.

This investor has been actively acquiring Whitehaven shares in recent months, as they fell closer to $2, picking up about 46.4 million Whitehaven shares which, with the portion of the Tinkler holding acquired Wednesday, gives it a total holding of 59.7 million shares in the company, equal to 5.8 per cent of the capital.

The Tinkler loan was secured against his Whitehaven holding. The price at which he lost control of his Whitehaven holding was well below the $5.20 "indicative" offer Mr Tinkler flagged he would make for Whitehaven in mid-2012.

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