ITV Studios has acquired a controlling stake in Apple Tree Productions, the Danish production outfit founded by BAFTA-winning producer Piv Bernth.

ITV Studios previously had a 25% stake in the business, which has now risen to 51%. Apple Tree will now be part of ITV Studios’ international production group with bases in 12 countries, under managing director Lisa Perrin.

Bernth is one of the pioneers of the globally popular Nordic noir genre, having produced iconic shows like “The Killing” and “The Bridge.” Lars Hermann, producer and former deputy head of drama at Danish broadcaster DR, co-founded Apple Tree in 2017 with Bernth.

“Expanding the international scripted footprint is very important to ITV Studios and this acquisition couldn’t be at a better time with Piv and Lars producing some of the best scripted content in the world right now,” said Perrin.

Shows produced by Apple Tree include Netflix supernatural thriller “Equinox.” Pre-production is also underway on a six-part TV adaptation of Kerstin Ekman’s award-winning crime novel “Blackwater,” from the company’s Swedish arm for SVT in Sweden and ARD in Germany. Via ITV Studios, the drama has pre-sold to DR in Denmark, NRK in Norway, YLE in Finland and RUV in Iceland. ITV Studios will continue handling international distribution for Apple Tree.

The Apple Tree producers’ team includes Dorthe Riis Lauridsen, Cathrine Skotte and Mathias Bruunshøj Jakobsen.

Bernth and Hermann said: “We are so excited to be a closer part of the ITV Studios family. Working with them for the past three years has been extremely inspiring and rewarding. We hope that we, closer together now, can merge all our best efforts and make Scandinavian and international drama to viewers all over the world.”

Julian Bellamy, managing director, ITV Studios added: “The global appetite for the Nordics’ very distinctive style of storytelling has grown and grown, both within Denmark itself as well as globally, Piv, Lars and the team at Apple Tree Productions, have a fantastic reputation for bringing high quality, premium drama to the screen watched by Danish viewers as well as a global audience. I’m looking forward to the next chapter for ITV Studios and Apple Tree Productions.”