Daimler AG sold its stake in Tesla Motors Inc. as the maker of the battery-powered Model S sedan evolves from a startup into a competitor for the German automaker’s Mercedes-Benz luxury cars.

Daimler owned 3.9 percent of Palo Alto, California-based Tesla, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The share sale generated about $780 million in cash for the Stuttgart-based automaker, which will add to earnings before interest and taxes by a similar amount, the company said in a statement yesterday.

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