MOSCOW, December 23 - RAPSI, Dmitry Shchitov. A federal commercial court has postponed until February 6 its hearing of an appeal against the adverse judgment in the Novolipetsk Iron and Steel Works' (NLMK) $18.5 million lawsuit against two former top managers of Maxi-Group - Nikolai Maximov and Alexander Loginovskikh, the court told the Russian Legal Information agency (RAPSI/

NLMK maintained that its lawsuit stemmed from a contract between Maxi-Group and Alfa Bank, in which the bank agreed to provide equity sale consultation services personally to Maximov, then the Maxi-Group's president.

NLMK argued in court that Loginovskikh and Maximov paid for the consultation services with Maxi-Group's funds, as they were entitled to dispose of the company's assets. The consultation services were provided directly to Maximov.

According to NLMK, the consultation services resulted in a loss to Maxi-Group.

The Moscow Commercial Court declared Maxi-Group bankrupt and launched bankruptcy proceedings against the company in August.