The Kenyan government is considering bids from 17 consultant firms, all seeking the job of preparing Telkom Kenya for privatisation. A decision is expected to be made quickly, with the winner to be given 90 days to present a turn-around strategy for the telco. As it stands Telkom has massive debts, estimated at KES31 billion (USD410 million), and a bloated workforce of 18,000. This will be Nairobi’s second attempt to sell its wireline incumbent; in 2000 it sought to privatise Telkom through the sale of a 49% stake to a strategic equity partner. The Mount Kenya consortium, comprising Econet Wireless, Eskom Enterprises and the Canadian firm SaskTel, presented the highest bid of USD305 million. However, the government deemed this too low, claiming that the 49% stake was worth at least USD490 million, and the process was abandoned in early 2002.