Tinkler spends big on Maui pad

Land title records show the assessed value of the property is $US8.6 million.If all else fails for coal baron Nathan Tinkler, at least there will be the pad in Maui.
Nanjing Night Net

As revealed by BusinessDay, one of Mr Tinkler’s private companies has bought a $US15 million mansion in the exclusive Makena district on the Hawaiian island.

The purchase was made by Queen St Property Holdings last November, just weeks after a major refinancing by Mr Tinkler consolidated most of his personal debts with Singapore-based Noonday, an arm of long-term backers Farallon Capital.

On a hill looking out over the Pacific ocean, the 641 square metre stucco home on 12,500 square metres of land has six bedrooms, six bathrooms and a pool and is in the gated “Keauhou” subdivision of Makena, which local real estate agent Peter Gelsey described as the most expensive area on Maui.

While there there are approximately 50 homes right on the ocean at Makena, sometimes with sandy beachfront, that can sell as high as $US27 million, Mr Gelsey said the Keauhou subdivision was “across street from ocean”.

But Mr Gelsey, who specialises in the Wailea-Makena district, said that historical sales in the Keauhou subdivision have been typically in the $US6-8 million range.

“It appears Mr Tinkler paid more than double the typical rate for comparable properties in this luxury neighbourhood.”

Mr Gelsey said it was odd that such a huge premium was paid in what is still a tenuous recovery from the 2007-2009 downturn, which “decimated property values throughout the Hawaii region”.

Land title records show the assessed value of the property is $US8.6 million and loan documents show Queen St borrowed against the property in March, taking out a $US7 million mortgage from New York-based Wolters Kluwer Financial Services.

Built in 2004, Mr Gelsey said the home was “basically in brand-new condition with beautiful finishes and stonework throughout the house”.

Last week Mr Tinkler failed in an audacious $5.3 billion bid to privatise Whitehaven Coal, which merged with his unlisted Boardwalk Resources and listed Aston Resources only three months ago. There has been speculation Mr Tinkler, who is believed to have maximum liabilities of up to $638 million, is under financial pressure over the falling value of his 21 per cent stake in Whitehaven, whose shares have fallen about 40 per cent since the merger.

Earlier this month, BusinessDay reported Mr Tinkler had tried and failed to sell his Patinack Farm horseracing stud and faced allegations of unpaid super from employees.

A spokesman, who said Mr Tinkler did not face a margin call, has confirmed the Maui purchase but did not comment on Mr Tinkler’s plans for the property this morning.

In June, BusinessDay revealed Mr Tinkler and his family were relocating to Singapore, and there has since been speculation he may have bought into the exclusive Sentosa Cove condominium project.

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Sweetened Clearview bid a winner for Weiss

It’s been a long time between drinks for veteran corporate raider Gary Weiss but the champagne corks no doubt will be popping tonight.
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Later today Weiss is expected to be crowned chairman of financial services and wealth management group Clearview after a revised offer from the private equity-led consortium Crescent.

The new offer is expected to deliver 20 per cent more than the initial 50 cents a share offer last July, with an increased cash component and extra dividends that will lift the bid to around 59 cents.

Weiss is understood to have been shopping the deal around for about a year, ever since he parted ways with GPG, the Ron Brierley-led corporate investment firm he ran for two decades.

GPG has been in wind-down mode ever since, with a program to sell all its assets including its stake in Clearview.Weiss’s other interest, property group Ariadne, also has an interest in Clearview.

Crescent is an Australian-based private equity firm run by Michael Alscher and the consortium includes Investec, which is providing debt and equity, along with some Macquarie Group funds.

Last year, Weiss unsuccessfully attempted to put together a similar consortium to take out Perpetual as investor unease over the funds management group saw its share price slide following the departure of long standing stock picker John Sevior.

GPG meanwhile has hit further turbulence. Its biggest investment, thread maker Coats, has suffered from the global economic slowdown  and was hit with a substantial fine that pushed GPG into the red for the six months to June 30.

This morning it reported a net loss of $NZ70 million ($54.3 million), compared with a previous corresponding net profit of $NZ25 million.

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Spring’s almost sprung but a cold blast awaits

Don’t be fooled … It might be nice now, but there is a blast from the past coming.Flowers are blossoming, birds are chirping, spring is in the air. Or is it?
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Just about, says Phil King, senior meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology. “The last couple of weeks we’ve really been seeing spring-type weather with temperatures getting up towards 20 degrees,” he said.

Today is a case in point, exceeding the expected top of 18 and peaking at 20.9 degrees, nearly five degrees above the August average.

It won’t stick around for long, though, with a front expected to move across the state overnight and tomorrow morning, bringing scattered showers, hail and thunder. Snow is a possibility in the Dandenongs and the Grampians.

The temperature is expected to plunge to just 13 degrees tomorrow, with more wild weather predicted for Friday, with a top of 15 degrees. Showers will ease on Saturday, with the temperature expected to peak at about 16 degrees.

A similar pattern is predicted for next week. By Sunday, the skies will clear, with an expected top of 19, and a sunny top of 21 is predicted for Monday. Showers will signal a return to cooler weather on Tuesday. “By next Wednesday or Thursday we’re expecting another series of cold fronts to move across the state and move back into wintry conditions,” says King.

This kind of to-ing and fro-ing is typical for this time of year, Mr King said. “We’re really settling back into a springtime pattern now, with two or three nice days with mild temperatures and one or two wintry days and a quick transition back to those better days,” he says.

The outlook is good on the snowfields this weekend too. “Buller has fantastic cover and they’re going to get fresh snow for Thursday and Friday,” Mr King said. Falls Creek, in the state’s north-east, has over two metres of snow on some of its slopes. A rapid clearance and sunshine on Saturday and Sunday spells near perfect conditions in alpine areas this weekend, a pattern that will likely be repeated in time for next weekend. “In spring it’s usually a significant rain event that spells the end of the Alps for the season and at this stage we’re not forecasting that,” Mr King said.

For many of us, spring can’t come soon enough, after enduring what has seemed like a bitterly cold winter. It actually wasn’t too bad, Mr King said. “The temperatures were close to average … But when we get an average winter temperature, it feels pretty cold.” Rainfall, which has been above average, probably hasn’t helped.

The good news is that spring is well and truly here. “The flowers are coming out and you can hear the birds,” he said. “Nature tells you when spring arrives, and it’s arrived.”

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Skinned labrador’s death baffles investigators

The owner of a labrador that was skinned and mutilated in a Mornington Peninsula backyard this week says he is considering moving home after his pet’s horrific death.
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Mystery still surrounds the exact circumstances of the animal’s death in the backyard of a home in Salmon Street, Hastings on Sunday night.

Michael said his pet labrador Pepper, who was 17 years old, was still wearing a winter dog coat it had earlier been dressed in when his wife discovered its lifeless body in the backyard about 7.30pm on Sunday.

However on closer inspection they discovered a large rectangular section of skin was missing from the dog’s back, and the dog’s ears had been cut off.

The missing skin was located beneath the velcro-fastened coat, and Michael said a veterinarian who conducted an autopsy on the dog said a sharp object had been used to cut off the skin.

“There were not puncture marks or tearing that you’d expect with an animal and she had a winter coat because she’s very old, and it was under the coat and the coat was in perfect condition,” Michael told radio station 3AW, saying he believed someone had removed the coat and skinned the animal before putting the coat back on again.

However police are not convinced that a crime was committed.

Leading Senior Constable Nick Sweetman said another vet who examined the dog said it was possible another animal had ripped off the skin.

“We’ve thrown lots of theories around the office and we’re unable to establish at this stage that a crime has actually been committed,” he told the radio station.

“It’s certainly bizarre circumstances, but we have differing opinions by two vets as to how the skin may have been removed.

“They certainly concur that the skin was removed post-mortem, so the dog was already dead, as was one of the ears and damage to another ear. We’re at a quandary as to why or how that skin has been removed.”

Michael said his wife had let their three dogs into the backyard about 6pm on Sunday, before setting out the animals’ food at 7.30pm. When Pepper, a rescue dog, did not turn up for her food she went to investigate and discovered the body near the fence. One of the other dogs also suffered a small cut, but it was unclear if this was connected.

Michael believed Pepper’s skin was too perfectly cut to have been removed by another animal.

“It’s two straight lines, a rectangle. Both ears are cut at about the same height. Dogs don’t do that,” he said.

Michael said his family had never received threats before, however his neighbours in Hastings had, and their adjoining fence had been burnt about a week ago.

He said he was now considering moving from the area.

“For such an old dog you expect it to die, but you don’t expect it to die like that,” Michael said.

Police have urged anyone with information about the dog’s death, or anyone with reports of similar animal cruelty in the area, to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers南京夜网.au.

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Bad sports: Corporate Australia snubs our Paralympians 

BIG business continues to shunAustralia’s Paralympians, donating just a fraction of what they giveable-bodied athletes.
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The nation’s Paralympicmovement has attracted just $6 million in sponsorship over the past four years,forcing athletes to train and compete on a shoestring budget. Some have evenhad requests for a free pair of running shoes rejected.

In contrast, corporateAustralia backed the Olympic campaign to the tune of $36 million and showered dozensof prominent Olympians with lucrative endorsement deals.

In a frank concession, AustralianParalympic Committee (APC) commercial general manager Ian Laing said the organisationshared some blame because it had traditionally been too slow chasing thecorporate dollar.

“Australia is a tough market…it’s a sports-mad country, which is fantastic, but the downside is there is aninsane amount of competition for sponsorship and it’s up to us to really findour place in that landscape,” said Mr Laing, who joined the APC late last year.

“The fact is we just didn’tstart discussions early enough and it’s clear we really need to be engagedearly. We can’t just pop up a year or two before the next Games and say ‘Hi, rememberus? Please jump on board’.

“Our message to the corporateworld of Australia is ‘we can work with you’ but we’ve historically not beengreat at approaching them and that’s something we’re working really hard to do.”

Of the 41 companies thatdonated money or products to the 2012 Australian Olympic Committee, just fourhave gone on to support the Paralympic team.

Those that did not includegiants of Australia’s corporate sector such as McDonalds, Coca Cola, Coles andthe Commonwealth Bank.

The 161 members of thenation’s Paralympic team will compete in London with the formal backing of just14 companies.

The disparity has so riledthree members of the Australian Paralympic running team – Evan O’Hanlon, ScottReardon and Brad Scott – that they have pledged to cover up the logos ofnon-supportive sporting apparel firms on their running gear.

Mr Laing would not say whetherthe APC supported the protest.

“But having tried to help someof the athletes even get a free pair of running shoes, I do find itdisappointing that defending champions couldn’t get some support from majorbrands,” he said.

Professor Pascale Quester, amarketing and sponsorship expert at the University of Adelaide, said businessdid not appreciate the commercial benefits that flow from an association withParalympians.

“It is a very good opportunityfor these multinational companies to demonstrate they care, they are not bigbastard corporates and that they are there to help the more disadvantaged,” shesaid.

“Paralympians have struggled;their sense of victory is greater than Olympians and there is a real poignancyto that that could be leveraged beautifully by sponsors.”

Mr Laing said the APC wouldcontinue discussions with potential partners once the London Games we complete,with the intention of signing them up for the next four years.

To complicate matters, the APCis prohibited from signing sponsorship agreements with competitors of exclusiveInternational Olympic Committee (IOC) partners.

Officials estimate the London ParalympicGames will reach a global audience of about 3.8 billion people and be broadcastlive in 80 countries.

Commercialsponsors and suppliers of the Australian Paralympic Committee:

Telstra, Toyota,Qantas, Media Monitors, Calyton Utz, 2XU, Swisse, Allianz, Ernst and Young,Solitaire, Speedo, R.M. Williams, Scody, Goodman.

Commercialsponsors and suppliers of the Australian Olympic Committee:

Coca Cola, Acer,Atos, Dow, GE, McDonalds, Omega, Panasonic, P&G, Samsung, Visa, Adidas,AMP, Australia Post, Cadbury, Coles, Commonwealth Bank, CoSport, Fitness First,Kraft Foods, Mitsubishi Motors, Qantas, Rio Tinto, Speedo ,Swisse, Telstra,Accor, Adecco Group, ANL, Athlegen, Beiersdorf, Getty Images, HamiltonLaboratories, Karbon Sports, Media Monitors, RogenSi, Shop Supplies,Sportscraft, Valley, Westfield, XTM.

Slow off the mark: Corporate Australia offers little financial support to our Paralympians