Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - SK Holdings to invest in advanced materials, green, bio, digital sectors

SK Holdings to invest in advanced materials, green, bio, digital sectors

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
SK Holdings kicked off the year with a 1.6 trillion won ($1.45 billion) investment in US hydrogen fuel cell company Plug Power. YONHAP NEWS AGENCY

SK Holdings to invest in advanced materials, green, bio, digital sectors

SK Holdings, an investment-focused holdings firm within South Korea’s SK Group, on January 24 said it will focus its investment on four business areas – advanced materials, green, bio and digital.

For investment expertise and efficiency, the company has reorganised its operations according to the four sectors, it added.

CEO Jang Dong-hyun said in a press release: “2021 will be a meaningful year for SK Holdings in this four-way investment drive.”

The company kicked off the year with a 1.6 trillion won ($1.45 billion) investment in US hydrogen fuel cell company Plug Power.

Jang said not only will SK Holdings strive to enlarge its investment portfolio of companies with high growth potential, but it will also foster an environment where it can make progress together with a diverse range of partners.

The company’s advanced materials centre will search for semiconductor and battery components businesses to stay ahead in the field, which is expected to see rapid growth on the back of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous vehicles.

SK Holdings touts its foresight in the takeovers of SK Siltron and SK Materials. SK Siltron, producer of key semiconductor component silicon wafers, was acquired by SK Holdings in August 2017 from LG Corp.

SK Materials, producer of industrial gas used in the manufacturing of semiconductors and display panels, was acquired by SK Holdings in February 2016 from OCI.

The holdings firm also expanded its reach to copper foil, one of the key ingredients in electric vehicle batteries, by investing 100 billion won in China’s Wason in July.

SK Holdings’ advanced materials investment centre will recruit doctorate holders in chemicals, new materials and polymers to make technology-aware investments.

As for the green investment centre, the team there will look at new and renewable energy and energy-saving business models for new growth momentum and to rise to the global initiative “RE100”, which aims to achieve 100 per cent renewable electricity.

Alternative food, recycling and the novel use of carbon dioxide are other areas of eco-friendly business that SK Holdings is following closely.

SK Holdings’ hydrogen business team, comprising some 20 energy experts from relevant subsidiaries SK E&S, SK Innovation and more, will report directly to the CEO. The hydrogen team members have over 15 years of experience in the energy business on average, according to SK Holdings.

In the bio investment centre, SK Holdings is staking its hopes on a two-track business model of novel drug development and contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) work.

SK Holdings has SK Biopharmaceuticals for novel drugs that affect the central nervous system. More recently, in December 2020, the holdings firm invested $200 million in US biologics firm Roivant for the latter’s AI-powered “targeted protein degraders”.

In 2021, SK Holdings is pushing to acquire France’s cell-and-gene therapy contract manufacturing and development company Yposkesi. Should this acquisition successfully materialise, SK Holdings would be complementing its CMO capacity, which so far is limited to chemicals.

SK Holdings drug CMO subsidiary SK Pharmteco, albeit with facilities in South Korea, the US and Europe, can only produce chemical drugs and not biologics drugs.

Through Yposkesi, SK Holdings aims to become a top-tier CMO and a rival to Korean front-runners Samsung Biologics and Celltrion.

In the digital investment centre, SK Holdings plans to fund emerging technology-based businesses in areas such as green mobility, data, global logistics infrastructure and liquefied natural gas storage.

THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration