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Business deals

Philippines' Jollibee takes on Starbucks with US coffee chain deal

$350m acquisition of another loss-making company a 'major investor concern'

Jollibee is expanding its foothold in the competitive coffee market. (Sources photos by Reuters and Kosaku Mimura)

MANILA -- Jollibee Foods said on July 24 it will buy the Los Angeles-based Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf chain in a move that pits the Philippines' largest fast-food group against coffee giant Starbucks and cash-rich private equity firm JAB Holdings.

Analysts, however, question whether Jollibee will be able to turn around the loss-making coffee chain given its struggle to do so with its other troubled U.S. assets.

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