MOSCOW, March 12 - RAPSI. The Moscow Commercial Court will hear on April 13 a lawsuit filed by the Novolipetsk Iron & Steel Corporation (NLMK) against Maxi-Group founder Nikolai Maximov.

NLMK seeks to cancel a stock sale and purchase agreement and claims to recover $247 million from Maximov.

The dispute between the parties has lasted for several years. NLMK acquired a 50-percent plus one share stake in Maxi-Group in December 2007. As a result of the deal, NLMK unified the enterprises ranging from recycling to steel production.

The shares were acquired on the basis of an agreement that did not establish a fixed price. The final calculation has been postponed until the completion of a financial and legal inspection of Maxi-Group's companies. Maximov was granted an advance payment worth about 7.3 billion rubles ($247 million).

NLMK seeks to annul a stock sale and purchase agreement signed on November 22, 2007. The plaintiff also wants the court to order Maximov to return 7.3 billion rubles ($247 million). NLMK earlier said it was misled into entering the transaction as Maximov provided no reliable evidence concerning the amount of the external financial debt and the possible bankruptcy of the group, which was insolvent during the agreements conclusion.

The plaintiff revised its claim during the last hearing. NLMK now requests the court to enforce Maxi-Group shares and transfer them to Russia rather than return the stake to Maximov. NLMK also seeks to recover 61 million rubles ($2 million) in damages from the deal.

NLMK is one of the world's leading steel producers. It produced 12 million tonnes of steel in 2011 and exported products to 70 countries. Its enterprises are located in Russia, the EU and the United States.