Fallen coal magnate Nathan Tinkler has resigned as managing director and chief executive officer of Australian Pacific Coal, after a Federal Court judge declared him bankrupt.
Federal Court Justice Jacqueline Gleeson on Tuesday ordered a sequestration order be made against Tinkler’s estate, over money allegedly owed by the former Hunter Valley mining apprentice to GE Commercial Australasia for the sale of a luxury jet.
Tinkler is reportedly saying he has the money to pay GE.
But he has taken issue with the amount GE claims he owes, telling the Federal Court the bankruptcy notice levied against him by the company is defective due to a technical error relating to currency exchange.
Justice Gleeson disagreed, however, saying she could see no clear reason for the court not to make a sequestration order against Tinkler.
Gleeson also rejected the claim that Tinkler was in a position to pay the debt, saying: “The evidence relied upon by Mr Tinkler did not support his contention as to solvency …”
According to the AFR, Tinkler maintained his position on Tuesday, saying, “I am in a position to pay … I dispute the amount.”
Trading of shares in Australian Pacific Coal (APC), the company which made Tinkler its managing director last year, was suspended following the ruling.
The company formally announced on Wednesday morning that Tinkler has resigned from his role, but will continue at the company in an advisory role.
“This Federal Court judgement is a personal matter for Mr Tinkler,” the company told the ASX. “While this judgement removes Mr Tinkler’s ability to perform his current role for APC Limited, this judgement is unrelated to the services that he has diligently carried out for the company since his appointment in October 2015.”
APC insisted that Tinkler’s departure would not impact its acquisition of Anglo American’s mothballed Dartbrook coal mine, which the company raised $20 million towards in late January.
“The Board of APC Limited would like to record that Mr Tinkler’s contribution to the company’s recent performance has been significant,” it added. “The company will do everything possible to ensure that this positive momentum continues.”