Danish major Nordisk Film has purchased a major stake in Oslo-based production house Maipo Film & TV-Produksjon.

Set up in 2000 by Norwegian producer Dag Alveberg, who has produced 15 features, Maipo has backed 10 films and a television series - including the Oscar-nominated Elling, by Petter Næss - to reach an annual turnover of $5.6m (Euros 4.3m).

'The deal with Nordisk will give us the clout to enter into bigger-scale projects with a potential in the Nordic and European markets, rather than focusing on local fare for the home market,' explained Maipo ceo Synnove Horsdal.

Having most recently premiered Bard Breien's The Art of Negative Thinking, Maipo is currently readying Vibeke Ringen's Svein And Rotta And The UFO Mystery for a March 9 premiere. Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen's The Last Fox Hunt, about a drug dealer with a mission, is being prepared for a summer shoot.

Besides releasing two to three Norwegian in-house features annually, such as the popular Junior Olsen Gang series, Nordisk has tapped into domestic product through contracts with such producers as 4½ Productions and You Are Here.

'Local films are becoming increasingly important, so to us it is crucial to gain strong footholds in the markets. The quality and diversity of Maipo - one of Norway 's most successful production companies - match perfectly with Nordisk,' said Nordisk managing director Michael Ritto.

The Danish major recently staged a thorough reshuffle of its Scandinavian distribution, opening new outlets in Norway and Sweden, following its split from Columbia Tristar-Sony Pictures Releasing International.