SK networks to sell off gas stations, shares surge

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SK networks to sell off gas stations, shares surge

SK networks announced it is selling off its gas station business for 1.3 trillion won ($1 billion) Wednesday, the likely driver as its stock price jumped 14 percent Thursday as investors anticipate reevaluate the unit’s financial state.

The trade affiliate of SK Group plans to reorient its focus toward the home appliance and mobility sectors, SK networks said in a statement late Wednesday.

The corporation’s board of directors will sell off more than 302 gas stations to Hyundai Oilbank and investment fund Koramco, with a deadline for the sale set in June. Following the decision, SK networks’ stock shot up by 14.47 percent, to close at 5,460 won. Hyundai Oilbank is not publicly listed.

The land and the property of 199 stations owned by SK networks will be sold to two Koramco affiliates for 1.27 trillion won, while Hyundai Oilbank will pay 66.8 billion won for the lease rights of 103 gas stations and other operational resources.

The proceeds of the sale will be used to pay off debts and invest in other businesses.

“SK networks will ensure financial stability with the proceeds, covering the repayment of debts and strengthening investments into high-growth affiliates such as SK Magic and SK Rent-a-Car,” the company said.

SK Magic is the corporation’s business dedicated to home appliance rentals.

Following the deal, Hyundai will own 2,520 gas stations across the country, placing it as the No. 2 gas station company after SK Energy, which owns more than 3,000 stations.

Hyundai Oilbank is expected to push forward with its effort to incorporate digital platforms and big data into its filling stations.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]

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