Ford Motor Co. says it has managed to shave $9.9 billion, or 38%, of its automotive debt by offering cash and stock to debt holders.

The auto maker last month announced the tender offer in hopes of shoring up its balance sheet in the midst of the worst vehicle sales environment in decades.

“By substantially reducing our debt, Ford is taking another step toward creating an exciting, viable enterprise,” CEO Alan Mulally says in a statement. “As with our recent agreements with the UAW, Ford continues to lead the industry in taking the decisive actions necessary to weather the current downturn and deliver long-term profitable growth.”

Under terms of the conversion plan, Ford will pay $344 in cash and issue 468 million shares to debt holders.