Ford Motor Co. today announces a public offering of 300 million shares of common stock valued at $0.01 per share.

The underwriters of the new share offer also will have a 30-day option to purchase up to 45 million shares of common stock, Ford says.

The proceeds from the offering will be used for general corporate purposes, including to fund with cash, in lieu of stock, a portion of the payments Ford is required to make to the United Auto Workers union-administered Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Assn. retiree health care trust.

“We continue to make strong progress on our transformation plan – gaining retail market share with great new products, improving quality, reducing costs and positioning Ford for a return to profitability,” Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally says in a statement. “Today’s equity offering is another example of the fast, decisive action we are taking as we build momentum on our plan, including further progress on improving our balance sheet.”

Citi, Goldman, Sachs & Co., J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley are acting as joint book-running managers of the offering, Ford says.