GREENVILLE, S.C. (April 9)—Michelin Group will launch the first of a two-phase global shareholding plan for employees April 11. Approximately 100,000 employees will be given the chance to become Michelin shareholders "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," said Jim Micali, president and chairman of Michelin North America Inc. The offering initially will be made in 16 of the 56 countries where Michelin does business. The subscription period will take place between April 11 and 30. The reference price was set at $38.50 but the U.S. subscription price will include a 20-percent discount off the reference price. Michelin will match the price of the first 10 shares purchased by 50 percent off the discounted price, making the employee price $15.40 a share. The next 10 shares can be bought at 33 percent off the reference point. Additional shares beyond 20 can be acquired at the subscription price.