NATHAN TINKLER has been given until Thursday to stump up $240,000 to cover wages for staff of his Patinack Farm thoroughbred stud, if he wants a chance of pulling the operation back out of liquidation.
The Adelaide-based Anthony Matthews, appointed last week as liquidator of Patinack Farm Administration after an administrative error resulted in it failing to pay a $17,000 debt to WorkCover SA, is expected to give an update on Thursday and write to all employees asking for evidence of any further debts.
It is understood the full amount owed to creditors by Patinack Farm Administration, which was the main employment arm of the operation, could be between $5 million and $6 million.
That amount is owed in unpaid wages and superannuation, taxes and workers' compensation premiums. It is understood Mr Tinkler's lawyers have provided assurances that all creditors of the company will be fully repaid in three to four weeks.
Mr Tinkler's personal financial situation is the subject of intense speculation, and his own debts - concentrated with Singapore hedge fund Farallon - are reported to now amount to about $700 million.
Citing unidentified sources, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Mr Tinkler had been given until the end of the month to repay $200 million or Farallon would take control of his main asset, a 19.4 per cent stake in listed Whitehaven Coal.
Fairfax Media understands neither the $200 million repayment amount, nor the Friday deadline, are correct but a spokesman for Mr Tinkler would not comment and Farallon did not respond.
Whitehaven shares closed down 5? at $2.81, valuing Mr Tinkler's stake at $553 million - roughly half the $1.1 billion it was worth in April, after a three-way merger with the listed Aston Resources and the private Tinkler Group entity Boardwalk Resources.
Patinack Farm Administration, one of at least a dozen companies involved in the stud, is one of two Tinkler Group entities in liquidation. The other is Mulsanne Resources, which Ferrier Hodgson is winding up after it failed to make a $28.4 million payment to the listed coal explorer Blackwood Corporation, for a share placement.
A third company, Tinkler Group Holdings Administration, is also facing a wind-up after the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation appeared in the NSW Supreme Court last Friday and was given until December 10 to take the role of petitioning creditor, replacing the NSW Chief Commissioner of State Revenue. It is believed the company also owes an unspecified amount of money to another creditor, the law firm Sparke Helmore.
Patinack Farm Administration has been asked for copies of its MYOB accounting file, and a ghost image of the hard drive of its computer, to provide evidence it can pay the workers in full. It has also been asked to provide a full written explanation of how the liquidation appointment might be reversed - a decision that will ultimately rest with the Federal Court.
Anthony Matthews had been expected to make a statement over the past two days but is yet to receive documentation from Patinack.