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Freshfields, Lex Counsel, Platinum close $17.5m education JV

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Lex Counsel and Platinum Partners have advised on a $17.5m (Rs 85 crore) joint venture (JV) deal between the UK's Pearson Group and Delhi-based education company Educomp Solutions.

Delhi-based Lex Counsel advised Educomp, which is understood to be one of its longest standing clients since the firm started up in 2004.

Freshfields acted for Pearson with Platinum Partners dealing with the Indian law aspects. Freshfields has acted for Pearson in the past, although Herbert Smith is also known to be a regular adviser.

The JV deal between Pearson and Educomp is understood to have involved complex cross-border IP issues and shareholder agreements.

The Lex Counsel team for Educomp was led by partners Seema Jhingan and Dimpy Mohanty, as well as senior associate Ravi Ranjan and associates Resha Jain and Rupal Bhatia.

Freshfields partners Simon Marchant and Pratap Amin led the Pearson team from Hong Kong and London respectively. Freshfields senior associate Sheena Singla and associate Mark Williams also sat on the core team.

Platinum's founding partner Karam Daulet-Singh and associate Saionton Basu worked for Pearson on the Indian law aspects of the JV from Delhi.

The Pearson Group, which also owns the Financial Times and Penguin Books, will take a 50 per cent stake in Educomp's vocational training business for $17.5m to provide a variety of training courses to blue-collar workers in the IT, food services, construction and other sectors.

Both companies were reported to invest an additional $20m into the business in the next five years.

All advising firms declined to comment.

Independently of the present deal, Pearson is also planning to launch a print edition of its UK business paper Financial Times in India, although the company is still awaiting several regulatory clearances.

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