Park Jung-ho, CEO of SK Telecom, suggested on April 21 that SK Group would ramp up investment in the foundry business amid a global shortage of semiconductors. Park, who doubles as vice chairman of SK Hynix, is currently leading SK Group's governance reform.
Park met with reporters after the opening ceremony of the World IT Show at COEX in Seoul on April 21. "We will have to invest more in the foundry business," he said. "Korean fabless companies say that if we offer a foundry service for them at the TSMC level, they will be able to develop technologies in many new fields. We agree with this view and therefore will make a big investment in the foundry business." This was the first time that Park has publicly made a comment on foundry investment.
On April 14, SK Telecom announced that it will split itself into a surviving company and a newly created investment company and place SK Hynix under the new investment company. Industry watchers say that the new investment company will ultimately merge with SK Inc., the group's holding company, to create synergies.
Park's comment on foundry investment has increased the possibility of SK Hynix acquiring a global foundry company or making an equity investment in it. Although the foundry share in SK Hynix's total sales is less than 5 percent, nobody can rule out the possibility that the memory semiconductor maker fosters the system semiconductor business like Samsung Electronics through M&A deals.