Tesla CEO Elon Musk's trial postponed due to coronavirus

Outspoken billionaire Elon Musk was due in court next week, where he was expected to defend a more than $2 billion deal he made that some shareholders say benefited Musk at the expense of Tesla.

But amid concerns over the coronavirus, the trial has been postponed, according to a lawyer involved in the case.

The unconventional CEO of the electric car maker was expected to square off against union pension funds and asset managers on Monday, who claim they were misled about the benefits of Tesla buying SolarCity, the rooftop solar energy company, of which Musk is chairman.

The shareholders claim the company was secretly on the brink of bankruptcy when Tesla purchased it in 2016 for $2.2 billion and that the acquisition benefited Musk, the company's largest shareholder.

Investors want Musk to surrender the 2.2 million shares of Tesla he received in the deal, which this week were worth about $1.2 billion.

Musk has countered that Tesla's stock has tripled since the deal, demonstrating its value.

And that SolarCity withered because its staff was redirected toward launching the Model 3 sedan, not because the solar business lacked value.

But Musk will now have to wait to make his case, a new date for the trial has not been set.