SEOUL, June 10 (Korea Bizwire) — SK Telecom Co., South Korea’s top wireless carrier, decided Thursday to spin off a new investment company in November to expand its foothold in new tech sectors as well as conduct a five-to-one stock split aimed at improving shareholder value.
The wireless carrier’s board of directors approved the spinoff plan, and the new company, tentatively named SKT Investment Co., will be split on Nov. 1, according to a company regulatory filing.
Under the spinoff, SK Telecom’s shares will be divided six to four between the remaining telecom-focused entity and the new investment firm.
SK Telecom also decided to conduct a five-to-one stock split, which will increase the number of its shares to 360,300,715 from 72,060,143.
The company said it will hold a shareholders meeting on Oct. 12 for final approval of the plans, which it expects to boost shareholder value. SK Telecom’s shares will stop trading on the local bourse from Oct. 26 to Nov. 26.
The wireless carrier had announced the spinoff plan in April in a move to strengthen its tech subsidiaries and increase investment into new sectors, including the semiconductor industry.
SKT Investment will serve as the holding company of 16 companies, including the wireless carrier’s crown jewel and memory chip affiliate SK hynix Inc., e-commerce subsidiary 11Street, app market unit ONE Store, and T Map Mobility.
SK Telecom said the spinoff company will actively pursue mergers and acquisitions of semiconductor firms globally and collaborate with SK hynix in future chip technology.
SKT Investment will also pursue investment in other sectors as well as initial public offerings for its subsidiaries. SK Telecom is currently preparing to publicly list ONE Store this year.
The remaining entity will largely focus on SK Telecom’s traditional telecom business and also pursue new technology, including metaverse-based services and artificial intelligence.
The spinoff plan comes as toughened laws governing a holding company are set to take effect next year.
Under the revised fair trade law, a newly established holding company should hold a stake of 30 percent or more in publicly listed subsidiaries, up from the current 20 percent, putting pressure on SK Telecom to speed up plans for governance changes.
SK Telecom holds a 20 percent stake in SK hynix, the second-largest market cap company on South Korea’s main KOSPI bourse.
Shares in SK Telecom rose as high as 3.66 percent to 339,500 won (US$304) in the morning.