Editor's pick: Originally published June 22.
Updated from June 22 with Brexit vote details.
Investors are shell-shocked Friday by British voters' surprising decision to exit the European Union and David Cameron's ensuing announcement that he would step down as prime minister. In Europe, the German DAX plunged 8%, while London's FTSE 100 nosedived about 8% and the broad Stoxx Europe 600 index shed 8%. France's CAC 40 slid 9%. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell as much as 700 points.
The U.K.'s surprising move may lead to some ugly times ahead for its economy.
The International Monetary Fund has said the impact of Britain's departure from the European Union would be "negative and substantial." The IMF predicted that a "Brexit" could reduce economic growth in the U.K. by up to 5.6% over the next three years in its worst-case scenario. Such a dire outlook would be fueled by a projected sharp decline in the pound and massive disruptions in trade as the nation will have to renegotiate deals with countries across the continent, possibly on worse terms.
More broadly, now that the U.K. has decided to leave the E.U. it may cause other large countries to reassess their membership. And that could really make things dicey for U.S. multinationals.
"If Germany leaves the eurozone, you would expect the new Deutsche Mark to be much stronger than the euro and if others leave, they might have much weaker currencies," cautioned former Bank of England Governor Mervyn King in a March 22 interview with TheStreet.
TheStreet takes a brief look at three consumer focused U.S. multinationals whose out-sized exposure to the U.K. could take a bite out of performance as a result of the Brexit.
The U.K. has a ton of Starbucks locations. They may be empty due to the Brexit.
The United Kingdom is Starbucks' (SBUX - Get Report) largest European market at about 870 stores, followed by Germany (158) and Russia (105). In total, Starbucks operates 2,448 company-operated and licensed locations in its European, Middle East and Africa segment (EMEA) compared to more than 12,000 in the U.S. and 1,963 in China.
Brexit could hit Starbucks in several ways.