Best Buy to Acquire Health Tech Company Targeting Senior Citizens

Best Buy's biggest acquisition ever is GreatCall, an MVNO targeting seniors

Best Buy acquires Jitterbug maker, targets elderly health market

GreatCall's mobile devices-namely its Jitterbug phones-are created to be easy to use and tailored to aging consumers to help them stay independent longer, reduce health care costs, and provide peace of mind to family caregivers.

In addition to its Jitterbug phones (which have become much more advanced since they hit the scene in 2006), GreatCall provides devices created to help consumers connect with caregivers, emergency services, and "daily challenges" for brain and body health.

"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", Best Buy chairman and CEO Hubert Joly said in the press release. It also manufactures the Jitterbug - which links users to a range of care services and information - and a one-touch button that connects seniors to a hotline in the event of emergencies, in addition to detecting falls. GreatCall not only gives Best Buy more services to sell them, it offers the Geek Squad a broader customer base to reach out to.

Best Buy now has a growing business selling health- and wellness-related products. Best Buy has recently invested in various health technology startups, and its growing list of health- and wellness-related products feature services like medical alert systems.

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The acquisition of GreatCall is an extension of Best Buy's efforts in the health space.

The acquisition, announced Wednesday, is part of Best Buy's 2020 plan, which aims to bring more technology addressing key human needs to the electronics giant's stores. With Baby Boomers aging and more than 50 million Americans over the age of 65, Best Buy is looking to stay in line with their goals.

The acquisition is consistent with Best Buy's long-term capital allocation strategy to first fund operations and investments in growth, including acquisitions, and then to return excess free cash flow over time to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases, while maintaining investment-grade credit metrics.

Best Buy said it expects the purchase to close in the fiscal third quarter of 2019, and for the purchase to be accretive to its finances by fiscal 2021.

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