Michelin prepares to launch employee shareholding plan

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Groupe Michelin will give its 100,000 employees worldwide the opportunity to become Michelin shareholders under preferential conditions on April 11.

“We see this as a great opportunity for employees,” says Jim Micali, chairman and president of Michelin North America Inc. “By setting up a worldwide Employee Shareholding Plan, Michelin wishes to strengthen even further our existing relationship between the employees and the company and to associate them more closely with the development of the Michelin Group, worldwide."

The subscription period will take place April 11-30, 2002. The offering first will be made in 16 of the 56 countries where Michelin does business.

In 2003, a second phase will be made available to employees in the remaining countries, subject to technical and regulatory approvals.

On April 5, the reference price was set at $38.50. The purchasing conditions, which are particularly attractive, should allow a maximum number of employees to become shareholders if they wish.

The subscription price in the United States will include a 20% discount off the reference price. Michelin will match the price of the first 10 shares purchased by 50% off the discounted price, making the employee price $15.40 per share.

The next 10 shares could be purchased at 33% off the reference price. Any additional shares beyond 20 could be purchased by employees at the subscription rate.

As of April 8, Michelin's stock was selling for $36.59 per share after taking the exchange rate into consideration.

Easy terms are being made to subscribers to allow for interest-free installments, spread over a 12-month period.

According to Michelin, the plan provides for direct shareholding rather than a mutual fund. Each employee choosing to subscribe will be entitled to all the rights of a shareholder, including direct access to economic and financial information sent by Michelin to its shareholders.

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