Best Buy acquires Jitterbug maker, targets elderly health market

Electronics retailer Best Buy will purchase health technology company GreatCall, which focuses on safety solutions for the elderly, including the widely used Jitterbug flip phone.

The retailer will pay $800 million in cash for GreatCall, in a deal that is Best Buy’s largest acquisition, as reported by Reuters.

GreatCall will give the retailer a leg up in targeting the needs of the elderly -- part of its “Best Buy 2020 strategy” -- which aims to use technology to address “key human needs,” specifically of the aging population.

“We know technology can improve the quality of life of the aging population and those who care for them,” Hubert Joly, chairman and CEO of Best Buy, said in a press release.

GreatCall makes a range of products for seniors, including mobile products and connected devices. 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 has 900,000 paying subscribers and boasts annual revenue in excess of $300 million.

Best Buy said it expects the acquisition to add to its growth by fiscal 2021.

The stock has gained over 11 percent this year.