Don't think it would be impossible for Nintendo to buy the company for 0 dollars but freeing the current owners of all debt, but since I didn't look at the numbers even that may be to much money to be worth.
Nintendo would still have to pay their creditors. It wasn't a massive amount of money but it was still quite a lot for not that much gain.
At the same time, they probably weren't going to keep the Mario and Luigi games going since they were doing poorly after Dream Team. It would make more sense to absorb the employees and put them working on Mario projects (as they are familiar with the IP).
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