GREENVILLE, S.C. (May 15)—More than 63 percent of 100,000 Groupe Michelin employees elected to participate in the first phase of the tire maker's recently introduced employee shareholder plan. The plan was offered to workers in 16 countries in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Approximately 1.6 million shares were requested, representing 25 percent more than the 1.3 million offered, the company said. That averaged out to 27 shares requested by each person subscribing to the plan, which is above the 20 shares per person for which Michelin provided matching contributions, the firm said. New employee shareholders total 60,500 globally thus far. In the U.S., 71 percent of Michelin North America Inc.'s employees opted to take part in the plan as did 62 percent of the company's Canadian workers. A second subscription offering for those not involved in the first phase will be made in 2003, Michelin said.