Paris-based production outfit Lagardère Studios has bolstered its international presence with the majority acquisition of Finnish prodco Aito Media Group.
Launched in 2003 by Ilkka Hynninen and Eero Hietala (pictured), Helsinki-headquartered Aito specializes in developing factual and unscripted content including All-Star Lifeguards and Rescuing Santa. The company most recently launched entertainment format Fake News, where celebrity contestants are tasked with separating real and fake news, creating their own fake news and telling stories from their own lives.
Sales of Aito’s catalog will now be handled by Lagardère Studios Distribution.
Aito Media Group has created and produced more than 50 series and formats broadcast across 40 countries. The company has also begun to dip its toe into scripted production.
“To take Lagardère Studios from leading French producer to major player on the European audiovisual scene is our goal,” said Lagardère Active CEO Denis Olivennes, in a statement. “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.”
“[The acquisition] marks an important step in the development of Aito Media Group, and is an endorsement of all the work we have done over the years in the Finnish market,” added Hynninen and Hietala.
“We can now count on Lagardère Studios to offer brand new content to our partners in Finland, more rapidly develop our expertise in scripted entertainment, and distribute our products worldwide.”