Electronics giant Best Buy acquires personal response service, GreatCall for $800mn

By Catherine Sturman
Electronics business Best Buy has revealed its recent move to acquire personal emergency response services provider, GreatCall, for a staggering $800mn...

Electronics business Best Buy has revealed its recent move to acquire personal emergency response services provider, GreatCall, for a staggering $800mn in cash, in a bid to strengthen its position in the growing ageing market. The acquisition will be the company’s first since Joly became CEO in 2012.

Unlike many companies which are targeting millennials, Best Buy will seek to provide connected health products and solutions for older US citizens. At present, GreatCall has over 900,000 paying subscribers, supporting consumers to stay independent longer and providing peace of mind to family caregivers.

Introducing technologies which will also reduce escalating healthcare costs, the decision forms part of Best Buy’s 2020 strategy. By providing health and wellness related products, it will bring on board GreatCall’s connected devices, such as medical-alert devices and bespoke mobile technologies to support those to receive help when required by contacting agents and care givers and much more.

Today, there are approximately 50mn Americans citizens over age 65, a number that is expected to increase by more than 50% within the next 20 years, fuelling Best Buy’s further growth in consumer and commercial markets.

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Complementing Best Buy’s growing portfolio, the acquisition will also support the company’s new pilot service, Assured Living, which utilises digital tools to support users to check the health and safety of elderly parents.

 “We are excited to partner with Best Buy to serve the active aging population on a bigger scale. GreatCall is already a growing, profitable business with annual revenue in excess of $300mn,” explained David Inns, CEO of GreatCall.

“By joining forces, we can do even more for this population, combining our products, services and expertise with Best Buy’s customer focus and scale to meaningfully expand our reach.”

“We know technology can improve the quality of life of the aging population and those who care for them,” added Hubert Joly, chairman and CEO of Best Buy. “Now, we have a great opportunity to serve the needs of these customers by combining GreatCall’s expertise with Best Buy’s unique merchandising, marketing, sales and services capabilities. 

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of Best Buy's fiscal 2019 third quarter.

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