Hynix emerges as pillar of SK Group
The world’s No. 2 memory chip maker SK hynix has successfully reinvented itself to become the next growth engine for new owner SK Group.
The group announced Wednesday that in the 100 days since the acquisition of the Icheon, Gyeonggi Province-based company has given both parties a timely boost in intensifying global competition.
SK is strongly backing its new subsidiary with its large investment of 4.2 trillion won, up 20 percent from 3.5 trillion last year.
SK hynix has also improved its financial structure by issuing new shares worth 2.34 trillion won. Credit rating firms Moodys, Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s all raised the chipmaker’s credit by one or two notches after the acquisition.
“We will focus strongly on hynix for it to grow successfully and make it one of the pillars of the group,” said SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won. He has visited factories in Icheon, Cheongju and other sites more than seven times since the acquisition, and is showing strong interest in the new subsidiary’s future.
SK Group sees a huge potential return from chip making besides its mainstay energy and telecommunications businesses. The latter two markets have been saturated and are experiencing slow growth, while semiconductors have a good chance for larger growth, according to SK officials.
The chip making technology will also be compatible with SK’s other ventures such as green energy projects, smart cars and mobile solutions and create a synergy effect, group officials said. Speculations are rising that SK E&S and SK hynix are considering collaborating in solar energy plants.
SK hynix’s most important asset for the group is as a channel to venture overseas. This goal and the effect of the acquisition is already showing in numbers: SK Group’s manufacturing exports have risen to 70 percent of its total output for the first quarter. Foreign networks with 15 overseas countries and SK hynix’s business know-how are solid platforms for the group to advance globally, as have rivals Samsung and LG.
“SK hynix will contribute to the national economy through chip making, the nation’s brightest future business,” said an SK official. “SK Group will hold nothing back in continuous support for SK hynix’s growth.”