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Fried Chicken King of Asia Loses $2.9 Billion on U.S. Gamble

  • Outbreak to prolong Philippine fast-food giant Jollibee’s woes
  • Smashburger, Coffee Bean purchases have failed to lift profit
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WATCH: If 2019 was a bad year for Jollibee's Tony Tan Caktiong, 2020 is shaping out to be worse for his company’s stock.(Source: Bloomberg)
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If 2019 was a bad year for Tony Tan Caktiong, the Philippine tycoon who built a fast-food empire that trounced McDonald’s in his home market, 2020 is shaping out to be worse for his company’s stock.

After wooing millions of Filipinos for decades with its signature fried chicken, Tan’s Jollibee Foods Corp. set out on an expansion in the U.S., spending $540 million buying Smashburger and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Co. Even as the two money-losing chains turn out to be a drag on earnings, the coronavirus outbreak is now threatening to hit its sales.