Merger Markets talks to Argonon Group COO Laura Bessell-Martin.

Argonon, the UK-based, independent cross-platform production company, continues to be interested in acquisition targets amid efforts to expand its back catalogue and talent base, COO Laura Bessell-Martin said. It could review its financing options to satisfy transactions, including external investment. Separately, financial advisory mandates could be issued, dependent on the transaction. Speaking to this news service, the executive said Argonon’s current focus is on integrating the March-dated purchase of sector player Windfall Films, which could take up to six months. However, Argonon is in acquisition talks with various parties, with Bessell-Martin adding that it would be receptive to being sent target dossiers from third parties. Laura-Bessell-Martin “We are going through a rapid growth period, one that is both organic and inorganic,” the COO said in relation to its expansion efforts. Regarding the latter, companies with a recognised brand name within the television production or digital arena and with existing relationships with broadcasters interest London-headquartered Argonon, the executive continued. A target’s talent and cultural fit, rather than its size, would determine whether transactions occur, the COO said, with Argonon reviewing both small and large companies. The cross-selling synergies derived from a deal would also play an important role, such as offering a back catalogue of programmes to the target’s clients, as well as Argonon being able to access new material. Future transactions would likely be satisfied via operational cash flow, debt and shares, the COO said. However, while Bessell-Martin stressed that there were no immediate plans to seek finance from the private equity community, she acknowledged that Argonon’s management could review the matter for a minority interest. “We are in phase one of a five-year cycle,” the COO said. “We will look at the options… they have to meet the best needs for shareholders and be right for the business as a whole.” The company was launched in 2011 by Leopard Films’ CEO James Burstall. Leopardrama, Leopard USA and Remedy Productions were the first to join the group, with Remedy Canada launching in June 2012. Prior to the Windfall deal, UK-based Transparent TV was bought and joint venture BriteSpark Films launched in 2013.  Another joint venture, Blacklisted Films, was formed in early 2014.