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FORT WORTH-With buyout rumors rumors hanging overhead, Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. has withdrawn its 2006 guidance and 2007 target, triggering a “no comment” scenario beyond what was said in today’s earnings call.

John Goff, vice chairman and CEO of the Fort Worth-based REIT, confirmed for analysts and shareholders that an offer had been made in late August, evaluated and rejected. “We are continuing to review strategic alternatives,” he said.

A special committee, whose members are being kept under wraps, is working with an investment banker to chart a new course for the REIT. “Obviously, we’re at a point where we are considering anything and everything,” Goff said. “We need to get specific direction and a specific plan before we give specific guidance. Otherwise, it would be a disservice to shareholders.”

Goff said the Crescent committee will stay focused in the fourth quarter, like it did in the third, to explore all options for the future. The announcement to suspend guidance “stands on its own,” he told listeners and participants. “Please understand we cannot go beyond what’s in the press release.”

Goff did add, however, that “there are very attractive alternatives to consider and the company and board are working very hard.” He and chairman of the board Richard Rainwater control of nearly 20% of the Crescent stock so, Goff assured investors, “clearly we have shareholders’ interest at heart.”

Goff offered little beyond the acknowledgement that it’s eyeing “strategic alternatives,” including no discussion about a timeframe. But, he did stress, all offers and all avenues are being explored.

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