Ford Motor Co. raises $1.4 billion through the sale of 300 million shares of common stock at a price of $4.75 per share.

The auto maker says it also has granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 45 million additional shares of common stock to cover over-allotments.

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 are pleased with this equity offering, which is another key step in our plan to transform Ford into an exciting, viable enterprise poised to return to profitability,” Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally says in a statement.

“By issuing equity now and potentially funding a larger portion of our future VEBA obligations with cash, we are able to further improve our balance sheet and significantly reduce the potential dilutive impact of the VEBA obligations on existing shareholders.”

Ford under its agreement in principle with the UAW has the option to settle up to 50% of its VEBA obligations with shares of common stock.

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