Marcel Boekhoorn (/mɑrˈsɛl bookɦoːr(ə)n/ born 30 October 1959 in Nijmegen) is a Dutch entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist and owner of investment company Ramphastos Investments. Boekhoorn has a wide array of business interests in the Netherlands and beyond. With an estimated net worth of €1.9 billion (US$2.2 billion), Boekhoorn is one of the wealthiest individuals in the Netherlands.
Marcel Boekhoorn, a CPA by training, started his career as a chartered accountant (Register Accountant - RA) with accounting organisation Deloitte & Touche in 1981. By 1991 he had become the organization’s youngest partner to date. In 1994, Boekhoorn founded his investment vehicle Ramphastos Investments and started to invest in unconventional companies that had little traction with other investors (such as small wheelbarrow manufacturers and a spray can producer). The key approach of Boekhoorn’s investment strategy is to place emphasis on adding value to the revenue side of the business equation, rather than exclusively focussing on cost reduction. This approach sets Ramphastos Investments apart from many companies in the private equity world. Boekhoorn is furthermore known for his focus on value creation through buy-and-build strategies, marketplace innovation, internationalisation, management empowerment and strategic partnerships.
Within a few years of its establishment, Boekhoorn had substantially grown Ramphastos Investments’ portfolio and its invested capital by achieving large returns through several high-profile exits. Boekhoorn's major feat was the €300 million acquisition of Dutch mobile operator Telfort (co-owned by the railways) in 2005 and its subsequent sale nine months later to incumbent telco and Dutch market leader KPN at a valuation of €1.2 billion. Other examples of successful exits include: nl:Bakker Bart, (Dutch bakery chain, sold to de:Kamps AG), Cocachoc (sold to Suchard/Kraft Foods), Novaxess (a telecom provider, sold to Easynet PLC/BskyB), Motip Dupli (an automotive and DIY spray paint producer, sold to Intermediate Capital Group), Sim Industries (flight simulators, sold to Lockheed Martin), Suitsupply (men's fashion retailer, sold to the majority shareholder) and Delivery Hero (German food-delivery service, divested after IPO).
Wilco Jiskoot, former executive board member of ABN AMRO Bank, is one of the advisors of Marcel Boekhoorn.
Privately, and through his investment vehicle of Ramphastos Investments, Boekhoorn holds interests in over 30 companies with a combined turnover of almost € 5 billion, varying from financial and business services, retail, gaming, health care, new materials and advanced manufacturing. Current investments include:
- HEMA: a Dutch retail chain with over 750 stores distributed across 9 countries. HEMA was acquired from Lion Capital in 2018.
- High Tech Campus Eindhoven a high-tech centre and R&D ecosystem on the southern outskirts of Eindhoven. Boekhoorn bought the campus from Philips in 2012.
- Mazarine Energy: oil and gas exploration.
- Innovations4Flooring: patents and technologies for the flooring industry.
- Cyber1 (Nasdaq: CYB1.ST): cyber security.
- SecureTrading: online payments.
- Vereenigde Havezathen: uPVC and window frame production.
- Habanero: HTML5 slots and casino games.
- Ouwehands Zoo: 22 hectare public zoo in Rhenen, Netherlands.
- Aviation Glass: glass and mirrors for the aviation industry.
- The Antenna Company: advanced antenna systems.
- Khondrion: biotech research and pharmaceuticals company focussed on the treatment of mitochondrial diseases.
Boekhoorn is privately a strong supporter of many nature and wildlife conservation and education programmes like SaveWave (protection of endangered sea animals) or the internationally acclaimed photographer Jimmy Nelson and his three-year trip around the world to photograph endangered tribes. Boekhoorn facilitated the adoption of two giant pandas from China by Ouwehands Zoo in 2017. In the presence of the Chinese President Xi Jinping, and King Willem Alexander, Boekhoorn signed a partnership agreement on behalf of Ouwehands Zoo with the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association. As part of the agreement, Boekhoorn makes an annual contribution of $1 million to the preservation of the panda species and the conservation of its natural habitat in China. Boekhoorn supports the football club N.E.C. Nijmegen and invested in the racing career of his son-in-law Guido van de Garde who raced in the 2013 Formula One Season for the Caterham F1 Team.
In 2006, Mr. Boekhoorn separated from his wife with whom he has three daughters. His current girlfriend is Rebecca Cabau van Kasbergen, sister of Yolanthe Sneijder Cabau, ex-wife of Dutch soccer player Wesley Sneijder.
- Lion Capital sells Dutch retailer HEMA to Dutch billionaire, Reuters October 18th 2018
- HEMA Press Release Video Recap, November 13th, 2018
- Building Businesses, Creating Value and Closing Deals That Make Everyone A Winner, CEO Today November 2018
- Steering Unconventional Opportunities to Success, Finance Monthly April 30, 2018
- Panda passion fuels Dutchman's dream, China Daily, April 9th, 2016
- Marcel Boekhoorn on giant pandas (in Dutch), Youtube, May 5, 2017
- World's 15 Most Inventive Cities, Forbes on High Tech Campus Eindhoven, July 9th, 2013
- 7 Best New Global Cities for Startups, Fortune on High Tech Campus Eindhoven, September 9, 2012
- Interview with Marcel Boekhoorn, 2012
- Interview with Marcel Boekhoorn on High Tech Campus (HTC) Eindhoven
- Interview with Marcel Boekhoorn in daily newspaper De Pers, 2008