Who was Nathan Tinkler?

An opportunist willing to bet it all, or a blue-collar worker with big dreams and a bigger eye for an undervalued asset? Tinkler bought the Middlemount Coal deposit in Queensland for just $1 million, selling it a year later for $265 million. It wasn’t his last exquisite deal. Taking one big bet after another, Tinkler leveraged his way onto the Rich List, becoming Australia’s youngest billionaire in 2011. Now he’s vanished, his assets progressively sold off in a fire-sale. He’s facing court action, and even his prized racing stable is on the market.

Australia has never seen a rise like it, nor a fall.

The man at its centre is elusive. He rarely gives interviews, making it hard to understand what drives him. Since coal prices fell — and with it his massive bet to buy out Whitehaven — the former mining baron has been holed up in Singapore and more recently the US, where he’s even harder to report on.

But Tinkler’s elusiveness has not deterred Crikey’s business editor Paddy Manning, whose book — Boganaire: The Rise and Fall of Nathan Tinkler — hits shelves this week. It’s the first book published on the Tinkler story. We’re bringing you an extract from the Black Inc. publication today, and there’s more to come in Crikey.

It’s a cracking read about a man who, at 37, has had far more highs and lows than most of us would ever dream of.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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