We're not that well versed in our mergers and acquisitions jargon, so we asked Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter for a bit of an explanation. Just what is "debt financing"? He explained, "It means that [ZeniMax] borrowed $105 million at the time that they bought id. The article doesn't say if the debt is secured by id's intellectual property, or what the repayment terms are, but the bottom line is that they bought id with borrowed money. It is not clear what they paid, but safe to assume that they paid at least $105 million, probably more."
ZeniMax isn't hurting for cash, so it's not like the company went begging for a loan. The parent company of Bethesda Softworks already made at least $300 million in sales off of Fallout 3. It'll take some time to find out if ZeniMax's minimum purchase price of $105 million was worth it for id's tech and intellectual property.
[Via Gamasutra. Thank you, Michael]