Best Buy Plans To Buy GreatCall For $800M

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To continue to tap into the connected-home market, Best Buy plans to purchase GreatCall, Inc. for $800 million. The retailer expects that the deal will close by the end of the third quarter, Bloomberg reported.

GreatCall makes emergency-response systems and smart phones geared towards seniors. The firm has over 900,000 subscribers, between its wearable devices and Jitterbug mobile phones. It was founded in 2006 by Arlene Harris, and has been owned by GTCR for the past year.

The transaction, which would be Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly’s first purchase, seeks to tap into the growing senior services market — Joly calls it the “white space waiting to be captured.” GreatCall would become part of the retailer’s Assured Living unit, which provides devices such as bed sensors and smart bells that remotely monitor aging consumers in 21 different markets.

The news comes as Best Buy was testing out a new service aimed at helping to keep senior citizens healthier. According to CNBC, Joly said on an earnings call in May, “We already [have] a variety of health-related products and technology products designed for seniors, like specially designed phones and medical alert systems. We’re also testing a service called Assured Living, to help the aging population stay healthy at home with assistance from technology products and services.”

Joly added that one of the company’s main strategies is to address “key human needs in areas such as entertainment, productivity, communication, food preparation, security and health and wellness.”

“One of the things we’ve talked about is how technology can help people stay in their homes longer, and there’s a lot of excitement around helping people do that,” he said, adding that technology “improves people’s health and wellness and reduces healthcare costs for the country.”

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