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LONDON – U.K. and U.S. sales, finance and production banner Content Media has acquired a 50 percent stake in Finland-based factual entertainment production banner Aito Media.
The financial terms weren’t disclosed.
The deal marks the latest step in Content’s strategy of expanding its international production partnerships.
Aito Media was founded in 2003 by Ilkka Hynninen and Eero Hietala, who will continue to manage the company.
Aito has produced three of the most watched weekly series ever for Finnish networks, and the company currently produces more than 150 hours of content per year, including The Night Patrol, Different Moms and 30 Days on the Arctic Ocean.
The deal comes at a time when other companies, including U.K. broadcaster ITV, have also acquired Scandinavian production firms, given that the region has been seen as a hotbed of creativity in TV.
Content Media CEO John Schmidt said his company sees potential to grow the company’s business “not only in Finland, but across Scandinavia.”
The deal will see the Finnish company working with Content and existing partner Small World IFT to share formats and production ideas across multiple territories. Content’s sales team will also work with Aito on the exclusive distribution of the company’s formats and finished titles in international markets.
Aito joins a growing group of production companies within Content’s portfolio, including Jeff Collins’ Los Angeles-based reality producer Collins Avenue, Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions and format specialist Small World IFT, founded by Tim and Colleen Crescenti.
Small World IFT already reps Aito’s hit reality format The Night Patrol about cops on nightly patrol.
Hynninen and Hietala said in a statement: “Our new partnership with Content Media has come at the perfect time for us to ensure our production and format development reaches its full global potential — we’re very excited to get started on a host of new ideas and opportunities with them onboard.”
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