The government of Kenya has confirmed that it will pay off KES60 billion (USD900 million) owed by Telkom Kenya ahead of the firm’s planned part-privatisation. KES35 billion of the debt is already covered under the current annual budget, with the remainder to be financed by the sale of part of the state’s stake in the country’s largest cellular operator, Safaricom. A 51% stake in Telkom Kenya is being offered to a private investor and, following the opening of the technical bids this week, there are now four bidders left in the running: France Telecom, Telkom South Africa, Reliance of India and the Libya Africa Investments Portfolio (LAP), a consortium which includes the Libyan government and BT Group of the UK. The financial bids are due to be opened on Friday. The 51% stake in Telkom Kenya is estimated to be worth around KES5.6 billion.