SEOUL, Nov. 2 (Korea Bizwire) - SK Telecom Co., South Korea’s top mobile carrier, said Monday it will acquire the country’s biggest provider of cable channels and Internet TV as part of a push into the media platform business.
SK Telecom will take over a 30 percent stake for 500 billion won (US$438.2 million) in CJ Hellovision from its parent firm CJ O Shopping, the mobile carrier said in a statement.
The decision was made at a board meeting held earlier in the day, SK Telecom said, adding that it plans to buy the remaining 25.3 percent stake in the cable channel provider through call and put options agreements.
SK Telecom said CJ Hellovision will merge with the mobile carrier’s wholly owned subsidiary SK Broadband Co., in which SK Telecom will own a 75.3 percent stake in total once the acquisition process is completed by April next year.
The latest move is seen by analysts as part of an effort from South Korea’s two major conglomerates — SK Group and CJ Group — to reshape their business portfolios to focus on their strengths.
The takeover is expected to give a boost to SK Telecom, a key unit of South Korea’s third-largest conglomerate, as an all-round media platform operator.
SK Broadband, its cable and Internet TV service affiliate, has not been so profitable in the recent past with the number of subscribers lagging far behind that of its rival KT Corp.
The merger with CJ Hellovision is expected to help SK Telecom bolster the paid-for TV broadcast service, as well as the Internet-based delivery of videos, also known as the over-the-top (OTT) business, as part of new growth drivers.
SK Telecom owns SK Planet Co., a major mobile platform operator in Korea, which it hopes to together create more synergy down the road, the company said.
CJ Group, the No. 1 food and entertainment group in the country, will likely focus on its media content business from now on, analysts said.’