The global real estate services giant tabbed investment bankerMorgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., along with the law firm ofMcDermott, Will & Emery, to review the buyout offer made abouttwo weeks ago by privately held Blum Capital Partners LP. BlumCapital, which includes a handful of current CB Richard Ellisexecutives and directors, has offered to purchase the 62% of CBRichard Ellis stock it doesn't already own for $15.50 a share in adeal valued at $740 million.

When the buyout proposal was made public Nov. 13, CB RichardEllis officials said they had formed a special committee ofin-house executives to evaluate the offer and would need "at leasta few weeks" to weigh it. In a brief statement announcing thehiring of Morgan Stanley and the law firm late Wednesday, CBRichard Ellis said the pair was tabbed to "assist the SpecialCommittee in its evaluation of the previously announced proposal …and to assist the Special Committee in considering other proposalsor alternatives for the Company."

Though a CB Richard Ellis spokesman wouldn't elaborate on thecompany's plans with Morgan Stanley, organizations that hire aninvestment banking firm often do so because they expect to--or atleast hope to--generate additional merger or acquisition bids.

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