MOSCOW, September 16 - RAPSI, Dmitry Shchitov. A commercial court registered an appeal filed by the E4 Group engineering company against a lower-court decision upholding the validity of Mosmetrostroy's auction sale, the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI).

Mosmetrostroy is the general contractor for constructing the Moscow metro.

E4 Group is an engineering conglomerate that is part of the RU-COM Group. The group includes over 50 enterprises throughout Russia. Nine nuclear power plant units located in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States were either designed or commissioned with the company's participation.

The appeal concerns a controversial 2010 auction.

The Federal Agency for State Property Management and Tsentrstroy, a major Russian construction company and the auction's winner, are defendants in the case. Mosmetroy is a third party in the dispute.

During the auction on December 23, 2010, the agency sold its 100-percent stake in Mosmetrostroy to Tsentrstroy for $247.01 million after the initial bidding opened at $71.85 million. The deal contributed to the agencys 2010 state property privatization plan worth $588 million.

E4 Group stated after the auction that it had been notified of its exclusion from the auction after bidding had already begun, as opposed to the day before the auction as is normally required. Additionally, it asserted that it was denied participation under false pretexts.