As conglomerates from the U.S. to Japan unwind holdings built over a century or more, SK Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Chey Tae-won is heading in the other direction.

Mr. Chey, 61 years old, in recent years has led an investment blitz at the South Korean conglomerate to capitalize on growth markets like electric cars, smart devices and new drugs. The company said it will have invested nearly $15 billion in battery production from 2021 through 2025. Capital spending for semiconductors, green technology and biologic pharmaceuticals are forecast to hit $40 billion over that time.



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