An Interview with Juan Capurro Boltendahl from Boltendahl International (ICFG Spain)
Juan was born in Paris from a German mother (family name Boltendahl) and a Uruguayan father (Capurro family name originally from Genova, Italy) and grew up between Europe and South America. The impulse of this dual cultural heritage made him travel extensively and choose an international life for himself and his family, today 3 grown children with his German wife. Juan´s European roots and his international life grounded him with clear human values, an open mind and most often a straight speech. His approach to business follows the same pattern of always seeking and understanding various perspectives, solving problems with pragmatism and concrete and timely solutions. People appreciate working with Juan and enjoy his openness and his interesting sense of humor.
Childhood and education
Born in Paris from a father working as a diplomat, Juan left young to Latin America and lived his childhood in a “Estancia” – a ranch – in northern Uruguay. His parents would have liked him to dedicate his life to the farm, but he was more interested in a vibrant way of life, and in business, finance and economy.
He went to school in Uruguay and Germany and lived some long periods in Germany during his childhood. Juan studied Economics at the UDELAR Montevideo university and pursued his MBA in IESE, Barcelona, Spain and in Columbia University, New York, USA. The MBA´s “Harvard case method” was a great contrast to the rigorous and tedious textbook learning in the state University of Montevideo.
Juan married a German wife, Economist from Brown University and they have three children, the eldest born in New York and the two younger ones in Buenos Aires. Juan and family moved to Argentina in 1993 hired by a local bank, and after 8 years, during the 2001 political and economic crisis, the whole family moved back to Europe, this time to live and settle in Madrid, Spain.
Juan appreciated and loved Spain from his previous MBA period, and Madrid was at the time starting to thrive with a growing Private Equity industry and a fast developing financial and real estate sectors.
Juan’s career first years were in banks, starting in the NMB bank (currently ING Group) in Montevideo and later moved to Deutsche Bank HQs in Frankfurt, before completing his MBA in Barcelona and New York.
In 1993, he was hired by Banco Medefin, a local corporate bank in Buenos Aires which was strongly hit by the crisis known as “1995 Mexican crisis”. This gave way to Juan launching his own investment boutique company: Boltendahl International was founded in 1996.
Career – Focus M&A
His corporate finance expertise started back in the late 80’s and early 90’s while holding and representing major shareholders in Asbach & Co., at the time Germany’s biggest brandy company. Juan participated in the sale process to the Guinness/United Distillers Group. This experience was his first participation in a M&A transaction and marked him strong enough, to base his career on this experience and become an investment banking professional.
After launching Boltendahl International, the first venture was a capital raise for a music and lifestyle start-up based in LATAM in the late 90’s. Later, in the early 2000’s and already based in Madrid, he advised a global EUR 1.4bn research-driven biopharmaceutical company in its acquisition strategies in Brazil and Germany. His first major closed European transaction was a debt round for London based Private Equity house CCP for its EUR 140 million simultaneous acquisition of 4 retail chains in Spain.
After moving to Madrid and launching the European subsidiary of Boltendahl International Partners in Madrid in 2002, Juan decided to specialise in the Pharma & Healthcare sector, partnering with his old friend Erik Hartmann, an eminent industry expert. The Pharma industry is a vital, stable sector, with large transactions volume and seemed to be a reasonably sound bet for the newly European based company. In time, Boltendahl became more specialised and the partnership with Industry expert Erik, gave way to a friendship, still today.
Juan is an avid intel and technology user and therefore an early adopter to work in a remote based way for international clients, this long before Covid. During Covid confined year 2020, he closed two deals remotely: The acquisition of a Healthcare company in Bavaria, Germany for a Baltic Pharma Group, and the divestment of iconic “Ceregumil” brand to the pharmaceutical group Uriach in Spain.
Boltendahl International Partners is today 26 years old, has six partners, based in different locations (Madrid, New York, Dusseldorf, Montevideo) and changed HQs three times. All partners have international profiles, are travelers and experts in their fields (Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, Healthcare, Venture Capital, etc.)
Expertise and added value
Juan knows his business well and is an excellent originator, as per his specialisation and his network, but also his open-mindedness and passion. He is also good at closing deals because of his creativity in finding solutions for his clients in the uneven road to a transaction closing. He handles most of the deal process himself, helped by his partners, relevant tech tools and sometimes partner execution boutiques if required.
Experience in cross border M&A
Crossborder M&A is Juan’s playground because there he can apply everything he absorbed through his international childhood, education, languages, and career. Juan approaches the people with kindness and humility, in a respectful and inclusive way, allowing a real partnership with his clients.
Life drives / passions
Beyond working, Juan has two present-day passions: sailing with the whole family on French boats in the Balearic Islands, or elsewhere in the Mediterranean, and Golf. Juan used to play tennis, but some injuries brought him to Golf, that he loves playing together with his family.
Back in Latin America in the 80’s, Juan was into surf and windsurf, always close to the ocean.