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UK's Mondi to complete Russian exit with $826 mln deal

(Writes through, adds share price reaction in paragraph 4, background on companies exiting Russia in paragraphs 7-9)

Sept 18 (Reuters) - British paper and packaging company Mondi has agreed to sell its largest plant in Russia to a unit of Moscow-based real estate developer Sezar Group for 80 billion roubles ($825.7 million) in cash.

Completion of the deal for Mondi Syktyvkar would mark Mondi's full exit from Russia, having sold three packaging conversion plants to Gotek Group in July for 1.6 billion roubles.

Russia's anti-monopoly agency and its government commission in charge of foreign investments has approved the Sezar Invest deal, which is expected to completed by December, Mondi said on Monday.

Mondi's London-listed shares rose 4.4% to 13.96 pounds in early trade.

The company had previously scrapped a 95 billion rouble deal to sell Mondi Syktyvkar to an investment vehicle owned by Russian billionaire Viktor Kharitonin, citing «lack of progress» in obtaining approvals.

Mondi Syktyvkar, a pulp, packaging paper and uncoated fine paper mill, employs about 4,500 people and reported revenue of roughly 1.09 billion euros ($1.16 billion) at the end of 2022.

The British company joins a long list of Western companies to have withdrawn from Russia after sanctions against Moscow over the war in Ukraine.

British American Tobacco this month said it would sell its Russian and Belarusian businesses to a consortium led by its Russian management team, ending an 18-month long process.

Other recent exits include brewer Heineken and automaker Volkswagen.

($1 = 96.8850 roubles) ($1 = 0.9370 euros) (Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru Editing by Savio D'Souza and David Goodman)

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