Chey Tae-won, chairman of SK Group, made a big bet in establishing a stronger presence in the biomedicine market.
SK Biotek, a 100-percent-owned subsidiary of SK Corp., acquired the Ireland plant of a multinational pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb on June 18, gaining a foothold to create a presence in the European market.
Chey, who had started investing in the biomedicine business 20 years ago, has beefed up related businesses thereafter.
SK is rare among Korea's major conglomerates. It has an extensive range of biomedicine subsidiaries, including those with specialty in the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, vaccines, finished drugs, and new drug developments.
SK's biomedicine subsidiaries are showing gradual improvement in performance, with SK Biotek passing the 100-billion-won mark in annual sales last year.
With the history of 130 years, Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global pharmaceutical company with its annual sales estimated at about $19 billion. With the latest acquisition of the Ireland plant, SK Biotek expects to be able to grow at a faster pace in Europe.