Best Buy Co. is going after Grandma.
The electronics retailer agreed to pay $800 million to acquire GreatCall Inc., a provider of smartphones and emergency-response systems for seniors, broadening its push into the burgeoning market for connected-home products and services. The deal, which should close by the end of the third quarter, will boost adjusted earnings by 2020, Best Buy said in a statement Wednesday.
San Diego-based GreatCall, founded by inventor Arlene Harris in 2006 and owned by private-equity firm GTCR for the past year, has more than 900,000 subscribers who use its Jitterbug mobile phones and wearable devices to stay connected to family and friends.
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Best Buy’s purchase — its first under Chief Executive Officer Hubert Joly — will position the retailer to capture more of the fast-growing senior-services market, which Joly has called “white space waiting to be captured.” The GreatCall devices will be part of Best Buy’s new Assured Living unit, which sells networked products like smart doorbells and bed sensors in 21 markets to remotely monitor the health and safety of aging Americans.
“We know technology can improve the quality of life of the aging population and those who care for them,” Joly said in the statement.