SK’s Chey leaves on tour of U.S. operations

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SK’s Chey leaves on tour of U.S. operations

SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won left the country on Tuesday to check on the group’s operations in North America and to consult with key business partners there.

Starting today, Chey will meet with the heads of SK’s American branches including SK USA, SK E&P and SK Global Chemical Americas in Washington D.C. Chey also has meetings scheduled with senior U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson from Georgia, capital management company the Asia Group Chairman Kurt M. Campbell, and Edwin J. Feulner Jr., founder of U.S. think tank the Heritage Foundation.

SK Group said Chey’s visit comes as the group is expanding its presence and investment into the United States. Tonight, Chey is participating in the “SK Night” event held at the Washington branch of chipmaker SK Hynix to explain SK’s latest business expansions in North America to about 200 officials from U.S. economic, political and academic circles.

Over the last two years, SK Group has pursued multiple merger and acquisition deals with U.S. companies. SK Global Chemical acquired Dow Chemical’s global ethylene acrylic acid business and polyvinylidene chloride business in 2017. SK Holdings also invested in U.S. peer-to-peer car sharing company Turo and multiple North American shale gas developers.

Most recently, the conglomerate’s battery making arm SK Innovation announced on Monday a 1.14 trillion won plan to build an electric car facility in Georgia, United States. The factory will be built on roughly 1.12 million square meters of land in Commerce, Jackson County with a production capacity of 9.8 gigawatt-hours per year.

Construction of the factory will begin early next year so that the plant can start mass producing batteries in 2022. According to SK Innovation, Georgia offers a favorable business environment and is close to the U.S. production base of major global automakers such as Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler, Volvo and Hyundai Motor.

Another SK affiliate, SK Biopharmaceuticals, said on Monday that it has submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin sales of its new epilepsy drug. The approval will enable SK to begin selling Cenobamate in the largest biopharmaceutical market in the world by the first half of 2020 at the earliest. The company said it is the first time a Korean pharmaceutical company has submitted a new drug application to the U.S. authority for a product it developed on its own.

According to SK Group, it will keep expanding its presence in North America. Chey instructed the corporation to make the region a strategic base for SK’s global business earlier this year, along with its existing bases in China, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

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