Swedish film industry giant Svensk Film-industri moved recently to widen its TV interests, with a 91% buyout of Wegelius Television, one of Scandinavia’s largest independent production companies.

Wegelius, whose revenue this year is expected to top $10 million, started four years ago and was one of the first companies to begin cashing in on the explosion in commercial television across Scandinavia.

With offices in Stockholm, Oslo, Bergen and Copenhagen, the company churns out some 350 hours a year in gameshows, sitcoms and talkshows, and is now beginning to produce drama-one reason cited by company president Annie Wegelius for her interest in the Svensk deal.

Last fell, Svensk debuted its first soap, “Tre Kroner” (Three Crowns), now one of the highest-rated primetime shows on national commercial channel TV4. Svensk is also building a state-of-the-art office and production complex on the outskirts of Stockholm, to open next year.

The buyout gives Svensk additional TV production facilities in Norway and Denmark and allows Svensk to compete with the region’s leading media conglom, Danish-based Nordisk Film, in TV production.

Company founder and principal owner Wegelius retains a 9% share in the unit. She will remain president of the company, an independent subsidiary under the Svensk umbrella.

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