Health Care REIT (NYSE:WELL) is preparing to expand its capital base. The company announced it will issue 20 million shares of its common stock in an underwritten public flotation. The price has been pegged at $73.50 per share. Additionally, the underwriters will be granted a 30-day purchase option for up to an additional 3 million shares.

Health Care REIT estimates it could reap gross proceeds of roughly $1.5 billion from the issue, or $1.7 billion, if the underwriters' option is fully exercised. The firm said it plans to use the monies for debt retirement, investments, and "general corporate purposes."

UBS, Barclays, JPMorgan Chase's near-eponymous J.P. Morgan, Royal Bank of Canada's Capital Markets arm, and the Securities wings of Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank are the joint book-running managers of the issue.