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Khaitan finds smooth road and firms on Sri Lankan deal

Khaitan & Co has advised on the purchase of Sri Lankan joint-venture (JV) assets, working with two of Sri Lanka's oldest law firms.

Sri Lankan firm F J & G De Saram and its partner Shehara Varia advised Indian tyre manufacturer CEAT, together with Khaitan & Co partner Rabindra Jhunjhunwala.

CEAT bought out its Sri Lankan JV partner Associated Motorways, purchasing a 36.84 per cent stake in local motor vehicle distributor and component maker Associated CEAT.

Sri Lankan firm Julius Creasy partner Amila Fernando advised the seller, Associated Motorways.

Jhunjhunwala said: "We have done substantial work in Sri Lanka but this time around it was very surprising and very smooth."

"The overall environment in Sri Lanka was very conducive to doing business there and to travel - unlike in the past when security was really high and police were stopping you every 100 metres," he explained but added: "Of course Sri Lanka being Sri Lanka you do have military everywhere."

Jhunjhunwala said that there between 15 and 20 firms capable transactional firms in Sri Lanka, with F J & G De Saram and Julius Creasy being the most in-demand.

Both local firms are over 100 years old.

He said that he was very impressed and happy working with both these firms and added that Khaitan & Co was working on other mandates in Sri Lanka as Indian corporates had interests in several sectors there, such as plantations, tea and coffee.

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