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.

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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