After Trying Dairy Farming & Failing Gerry Harvey Now Has A Crack At Copper Mining
hen retail gets tough how about an investment in copper mining, Gerry Harvey who lost a motza investing in a dairy farm has moved to back failed coal miner Nathan Tinkler in a mover that raises questions about his investment decisions.
According to the Australian newspaper Nathan Tinkler has tapped Gerry Harvey to bankroll ha play for a Queensland copper mine. At this stage it’s believed that Gerry Harvey is putting up around $15M, his last investment into a Victorian dairy farm cost Harvey Norman dearly.
Several questions have been raised about Gerry Harvey’s past investments which the AFR claiming that many of them have turned into ‘dopey cash drains”.
There was the terrific idea to build accommodation in mining towns that lost $45 million, with $33.7 million still owing. Then there was the KEH Partnership, which sells school uniforms and other supplies ($15.6 million lost, $30 million outstanding).
Another disaster was Gerry Harvey’s investment in dairy farming via Coomboona Holdings, an operation Harvey Norman initially shelled out $34 million in cash in 2016 to buy into this turned into a $79M loss.
The dairy Company became a massive cash drain on Harvey Norman and was eventually placed into administration after Ernst & Young partner James Karekinian, noted a deficiency of net current assets.
Now Company documents filed with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission show Mr Tinkler’s Singapore-based Bentley Resources has taken on about $15m in debt from one of Mr Harvey’s private companies to help fund the July acquisition of the Lady Annie mine in north Queensland.
Mounting losses at the mine left a window open for Mr Tinkler, Bentley and Gerry Harvey to swoop on a new Australian mining deal.
Currently Tinkler is banned from acting as a director or manager of an Australian company until 2021 as the result of the liquidation of a suite of his personal corporate vehicles.
Documents filed with ASIC show that Kombi Mining, owned by Queensland earthmoving and equipment hire businessman Shane O’Connell, borrowed $14.5m from Mr Harvey’s GH Finance and immediately on-loaned the cash to Mr Tinkler’s Bentley Resources as “part of the debt acquisition consideration”. Mr Harvey also confirmed Mr Tinkler’s direct involvement in acquisition.
The pair have a long association, and Mr Tinkler has previously told The Australian he regards the retailing billionaire as a friend and mentor.
Mr Harvey lent $50m towards the Mr Tinkler’s buy-up of racing and breeding stock at Patinack Farm, where as much as $500m was spent in seven years until it went bust in 2014.
And the former mining magnate revealed to The Australian in January that loans from Mr Harvey were one of the factors that helped him satisfy creditors and annul his personal bankruptcy in 2017.
Mr Harvey told The Australian last week he was happy to be backing Mr Tinkler’s latest foray into the resources sector.
“I’ve been dealing with Nathan for 10 to 12 years and he was just in here yesterday. I’m hoping he’ll come good,” Mr Harvey said. “If it comes off it’ll be good, and if it works then I’ll be very happy.”