Schering-Plough

( SGP) said Thursday it's issuing new shares of common stock and convertible preferred stock to help pay for its acquisition of the Organon BioSciences unit of

Akzo Nobel

(AKZOY)

.

In March, Schering-Plough announced

an all-cash, $14.4 billion plan to buy Organon, which specializes in women's health care products and animal health drugs. The deal is expected to close by year-end.

At the time, Schering-Plough executives said they expected to raise $3 billion to $5 billion in equity, with the rest coming from debt and existing cash.

Gross proceeds from the stock offerings, plus extra shares sold by underwriters if the offerings are popular, would provide gross proceeds at the upper end of that range.

Schering-Plough filed documents covering an offering for 50 million common shares with the

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Securities and Exchange Commission

, saying underwriters could sell another 7.5 million shares if there is great investor interest.

At Wednesday's closing price of $29.38 a share, gross proceeds would be $1.47 billion. If underwriters sell additional shares, there would be an extra $220.4 million.

Schering-Plough also filed a shelf offering for $2.5 billion in preferred stock that must be converted into common stock within three years. Underwriters could sell an additional 1.5 million shares to over overallotments.

Recently, Schering-Plough's stock was up 4 cents to $29.42.

Separately, the company said a federal court had cancelled a five-year-old

consent decree that Schering-Plough had signed relating to past manufacturing problems at plants in New Jersey and Puerto Rico.

"This is an important milestone for Schering-Plough as we continue to put issues of the past behind us and make further progress," said Fred Hassan, chairman and CEO.

The consent decree, signed May 20, 2002,

covered problems that occurred before Hassan took charge in April 2003. In January 2006, the company said it completed all the fixes required by the consent decree.