ITV has bought a stake in Danish production company Apple Tree Productions, which was established by Piv Bernth and Lars Hermann, producers of global scripted hits The Killing and The Bridge.

The UK commercial broadcaster has taken a minority stake in the firm and will distribute Apple Tree Productions series internationally. Bernth and Hermann, who were previously Head of Drama and Deputy Head of Drama at Danish public broadcaster DR will be joined at the fledgling business by former DR drama producers Anders Toft Andersen, Karoline Leth and Dorthe Riis Lauridsen. It is ITV’s latest international drama deal following acquisitions of French studio Tetra Media Studios and Italian producer Cattleya.

Bernth and Hermann said that they were excited for the potential to collaborate with ITV’s family of international scripted producers and work with the most talented Nordic writers, directors and producers.

ITV Studios’ President of International Maria Kyriacou said:  “Since the phenomenal success of The Killing the global appetite for the Nordics’ very distinctive style of storytelling has grown and grown. Right at the heart of this boom have been Piv and Lars, we are delighted that they will now be part of ITV Studios’ growing international network of drama producers.”

ITV Studios Global Entertainment Managing Director Ruth Berry added: “Piv and Lars’ ambition for Apple Tree is to work with the very best creative talent in the Nordics to bring their unique ideas to screen. This creative led approach to Apple Tree mirrors ITVS’ philosophy, so this is the ideal partnership as we continue to diversify ITVS GE’s portfolio of content from around the world.”