Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Unlikely Group of Millionaires Made From Tycoon-Led Chaebol

  • SK Biopharmaceuticals IPO enriched more than 200 employees
  • Listing was Korea’s largest in three years and shares surged
SK Biopharmaceuticals's IPO ceremony at the Korea Exchange (KRX) in Seoul on July 2.
SK Biopharmaceuticals's IPO ceremony at the Korea Exchange (KRX) in Seoul on July 2.Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
Updated on

In South Korea, where a few powerful families control most industries and millennials are struggling with job prospects, getting rich quickly isn’t easy.

So when drug maker SK Biopharmaceuticals Co., a unit of one of the nation’s largest conglomerates, SK Group, went public, it stood out not only for the level of wealth creation given to a portion of its workforce, but for how quickly it happened. Some also viewed it as a sign that things may be starting to change in Korea.