Leading French TV company Lagardère Studios has taken a majority stake in Finnish production company Aito Media Group, aiming to ramp up their international presence.

Created in 2003 by IIkka Hynninen and Eero Hietala, Aito Media Group is a well-established company which specializes in factual and unscripted entertainment. The banner has so far created and produced over 50 programs and formats that have aired across more than 40 countries.

The Finnish outfit also recently started producing scripted format and currently has a dozen series in development.

As part of the acquisition, Lagardère Studios Distribution will now be handling sales on Aito Media Group catalogue titles.

“To take Lagardère Studios from leading French producer to major player on the European audiovisual scene is our goal-Christophe Thoral’s and mine, with Arnaud Lagardère’s endorsement,” said Denis Olivennes, CEO of Lagardère Active.

“After the purchase of Grupo Boomerang TV in Spain, the acquisition of Aito Media Group is a new step in carrying out this international development strategy,” added Olivennes.

Christophe Thoral, the CEO of Lagardère Studios, pointed out that the acquisition of Aito Media Group’s majority stake, which follows the purchase of Grupo Boomerang TV in Spain, underscores the company’s international push in Northern Europe.

It’s “a region particularly dynamic and innovative in audiovisual production,” said Thoral.

Hynninen and Hietala, who will remain at the helm of the company, said allying with Lagardere Studios marked a milestone for Aito Media Group and will allow the banner to “rapidly develop (its) expertise in scripted entertainment and distribute (its) products worldwide.”

Lagardère Studios was launched in 2008 by the media conglom Lagardère Active. It regroups about 20 outfits including Image & Compagnie, Imagissime and GMT, as well as Altantique Productions (“Borgia”) and Grupo Boomerang TV in Spain.