BUSINESS

SKT to fully own ICT solution subsidiary amid restructuring speculations

By Song Su-hyun

Telecom giant may seek being mid-level holdings firm

  • Published : Sept 29, 2017 - 11:57
  • Updated : Sept 29, 2017 - 15:42
SK Telecom, the No.1 mobile carrier by subscriber numbers in South Korea, announced Friday it will fully own SK Telink, a total ICT solution providing subsidiary, widely seen as a move by the telecom giant to turn itself into a mid-level holdings firm.

At a board meeting on Thursday, SKT’s board of directors made a decision to acquire a 14.14 percent stake in Telink, in addition to the 85.86 percent already owned by the telecom business, for 270,583 won ($236.2) per share.

Telink, at the same time, decided to sell its 5.55 percent of treasury stocks to the telecom unit.

The subsidiary is better known for its international call service 00700 and corporate internet service.

SKT explained the decision was based on the company’s future growth planning that is largely focused on artificial intelligence and Internet of Things businesses.

“SK Telink has been achieving steady growth in its international call service and corporate wired service, but is in need of restructuring to accelerate new business models,” the telecom unit said. “Telecom and Telink will start finding new businesses on AI, IoT, big data and home services by sharing core assets of the two companies.”

SKT CEO Park Jung-ho told reporters at an opening ceremony of the company‘s ICT showroom at the headquarters in Euljiro, central Seoul, “We will come up with a specific plan to grow Telink within the year.”


SK Telecom headquarters (Yonhap)


Meanwhile, SK Telecom’s other fully owned subsidiaries Techx and Entrix decided to merge one another on Wednesday in a bid to expand their market presence as a digital tech company.

Techx is a digital platform business, while Enxtrix is a media solution provider.

With the latest decisions, SKT has nine fully-owned subsidiaries, including SK Communications and Broadband.

Other major SKT subsidiaries are SK Planet, the operator of online open market 11st, and SK hynix, a world-class semiconductor business.

Market watchers view the decisions as part of SKT’s plan to become a mid-level holdings company of SK Group.

The company’s intention of elevating its status to a mid-level holdings firm is aligned with a plan for transformation into a new ICT business in the fourth industrial revolution era.

According to the financial industry, SKT CEO Park hopes to separate the telecom business as an operating company, while creating a new holdings firm that will decide and execute investment projects for new businesses.

However, SKT denied the speculation with an official saying, “Our official stance in the company is not considering any restructuring measure at the moment.”

By Song Su-hyun (song@heraldcorp.com)