Schering-Plough is looking to issue new shares of common and convertible preferred stock in order to help fund its $14.4 billion acquisition of Akzo Nobel’s Organon BioSciences unit.

The firm said that it has begun a public offering of 50 million common shares and underwriters have an option to purchase up to an additional 7.5 million. S-P also announced that it has also commenced an offering of $2.5 billion of its convertible preferred stock which consists of 10 million shares with a liquidation preference of $250 per share. The underwriters have an option to buy up to an additional 1.5 million shares.

The global coordinator for these offerings will be Goldman Sachs and the joint bookrunners will be Banc of America, Bear Stearns, Citi and Morgan Stanley. The co-lead managers will be BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse Securities and JP Morgan Securities.

– Meantime, the company said a federal court had cancelled a five-year-old consent decree that S-P had signed relating to past manufacturing problems at plants in New Jersey and Puerto Rico.

"This is an important milestone for S-P as we continue to put issues of the past behind us and make further progress," said chief executive Fred Hassan. The consent decree was signed in May 2002 and in January 2006, the company said it had completed “all of the 212 significant steps and 30 validation actions” required under the decree.