MOSCOW, April 16 - RAPSI. The Moscow Commercial Court suspended until May 25 its hearing of Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) lawsuit against Maxi-Group founder and metal tycoon Nikolai Maximov to cancel stock purchase and sale contract.

In its lawsuit, NLMK requests to invalidate the November 22, 2007 decision on the purchase and sale of Maxi-Group's shares between NLMK and Maksimov. NLMK also demands that Maximov return $224.06 million.

NLMK said earlier that that the company was misled by Maximov as he withheld information about Maxi-Group's debt and looming bankruptcy. The steel company noted that Maxi-Group was actually insolvent at the time of the contract.

NLMK is one of the world's largest steel producers. Vladimir Lisin is its primary beneficiary with a 84.6-percent stake in the company. Some 2.5 percent of the shares belong to the company's management. Another 12.89 percent of the company's shares are in free float, with 8.45 percent of them being the GDR shares floating on the London Stock Exchange.