This excerpt taken from the GWW DEF 14A filed Mar 18, 2005.
Description of the 2005 Plan
The 2005 Plan provides a means whereby employees can receive equity awards which will help them develop a sense of proprietorship and personal involvement in the development and financial success of Grainger, and will encourage them to devote their best efforts to Grainger's business, thereby advancing the interests of Grainger and its shareholders.
The 2005 Plan is designed as a flexible share authorization plan. With a flexible share authorization plan, a company's share authorization is based on the least costly award vehicle (generally stock options). The value of an option is compared to a so-called "full value share" (discussed further below) to determine a valuation ratio. The Company has used a binominal model provided by an outside institutional shareholder advisory service to determine its valuation ratio of 1:2.36. This means that every time an option is granted, the authorized pool is reduced by one (1) share and every time a full value share is granted, the authorized pool is reduced by 2.36 shares.
The 2005 Plan will become effective upon shareholder approval and will terminate ten years later unless terminated sooner.
A summary of the material features of the 2005 Plan is provided below, but is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the 2005 Plan attached as Appendix B to this proxy statement.