SEOUL, KOREA — SK Telecom announced that the company finished taking over Hynix Semiconductor on February 14. SK Telecom paid for 146.1 million shares, 21.05% of the total shares of Hynix Semiconductor. SK Telecom said that the company had completed its payment of KRW 3.37 trillion for a 21.05% stake (old shares: 6.38%, new shares: 14.68%) in Hynix. SK Telecom paid KRW 1,032.2 billion for the old shares and KRW 2,342.6 billion for the new shares. SK Telecom paid KRW 23,099 per Hynix share. New shares were issued and distributed on February 22.
SK Telecom officially announced that it would take over the memory chip company while submitting an LOI on July 8, 2011. SK Telecom signed a share acquisition agreement on November 14, 2011 after its participation on November 10 and the selection of a preferred bidder on November 11. Afterwards, SK Telecom successfully completed processes such as due diligence and governmental permission of a merger and finished the acquisition by paying the money for shares.
With the acquisition of Hynix Semiconductor as an opportunity, SK Telecom is planning to enhance its corporate value by realizing business diversification and secure new future growth engines in the rapidly changing ITC industry while developing various global business opportunities. At the same time, SK Telecom expects to create various synergies such as building a new ICT paradigm which combines accumulated telecommunication and semiconductor capabilities that promotes a better business model development by strengthening the cooperation with Hynix.
Hynix is expected to take off with the management participation of SK Telecom as largest shareholder. The semiconductor company had been struggling since October 2001 without its largest financial shareholder. It is also expected that with the management of SK Telecom, Hynix will be able to enhance its market competitiveness and corporate value on the foundation of the power of the world’s second largest memory chip maker.
“I would like to express my genuine thanks to everyone who gave support for our acquisition of Hynix,” said Ha Seong-min, president and CEO of SK Telecom. “We will live up to their expectations by developing Hynix into a growth engine and strengthen cooperation and synergies between SK Telecom and Hynix to create a new ICT growth system.”
The BOD meeting of Hynix appointed Chey Tae-won, chairman of the SK Group as CEO of Hynix and chairman of the BOD on February 14. SK made quite a change in the management structure of Hynix. Song Hyeon-jong, director of the Future Management Office at SK Telecom was appointed as CSO of Hynix. Jin Jeong-hun, a former president of SKT America and Gil In, a senior executive director of SK China and Lee Yeong-myeong, an executive director has moved or will move to Hynix as its executives. So it is expected that a big change will be made in the operation sector such as strategies, corporate cultures and personnel management.
In addition, Kim Jun-ho, president of SK Telecom has become the head of the Management Support Division. Kim Jun-ho managed due diligence during the acquisition process. The R&D division will be managed by Park Sang-hun, president of SK Bio Pharm.
A new name for the company, “SK Hynix” will be officially used after a general shareholders meeting. “The SK Group has been excellent at embracing employees of acquired companies. We have completed smooth acquisitions,” said an employee of SK Telecom. Before, on February 13, Chairman Chey was appointed as an inside director of Hynix in a temporary shareholders meeting.
“Due to characteristics of the semiconductor industry, the will of the largest shareholder is important,” said Kwon Oh-cheol, president of Hynix. “So most of the shareholders are for Choi to become an inside director.”
But some industry watchers expect that the relationship between SK and Hynix will be a rugged road to happiness. “Employees of Hynix have strong pride as they have maintained the second position in the world semiconductor industry despite many difficulties,” said an industry expert. “In the production area, the atmosphere is very male dominated and the labor union is radical. So the combination between the two companies will be not easy.”
Chey also visited the Hynix plant (China branch) in February. During the visit, Chey said that he would strongly support its acquisition of the world’s second largest chipmaker. Chey flew to China and visited the plant in Wuxi after meeting employees at factories in Korea.
At the meeting with the Chinese executives and staff, the SK Group chairman emphasized his group’s special connection with China. “The SK Group has enjoyed successful business in China for a long time. Before Korea and China formally established diplomatic relations, the SK Group made an investment in China as the first Korean company to do so in 1990,” Chey said.
“We are confident about making Hynix the best semiconductor company in the world. The Hynix plant in Wuxi has world-class competitiveness and technology. All members of the SK Group will make the Hynix plant in Wuxi the best semiconductor plant in the world. You will enjoy working here with strong pride,” Chey emphasized.
On the other hand, Hynix Semiconductor Inc. introduces ‘Smart Mobile Solution’ products at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. Hynix participates in the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry with SK Telecom and its first ever display. The concept of the Hynix’s exhibition is ‘Hynix enabling a ubiquitous world’. The company introduces a various series of mobile solutions including 20nm class 4Gigabit (‘Gb’) DDR3 DRAM and 30nm class 4Gb LPDDR3 DRAM. It also sees a possibility of growth in the new market such as the smart car by introducing ‘Infotainment’ products which have been developed after a yearlong collaboration with NVIDIA.The newly developed 20nm class 4Gb DDR3 DRAM is targeting high density applications such as high-end virtualized servers, datacenter servers and high performance Tablet and Ultrabooks. This product meets the JEDEC standard. The product offers a maximum data transfer speed of 2133Mbps (Megabits per second) or 4.3 GB/s (Gigabytes per second) bandwidth with a 16-bit I/O, supporting the ultra low voltage operation of 1.25V. It saves more than 40% power consumption than the existing 30nm class products. In terms of production efficiency, it is increased by more than 60% over the 30nm class process technology.