People to meet: James Burstall

James Burstall arrives at MIPCOM as CEO of Argonon, the super-indie in the making that he is running. The company was created through the merger of Leopard Films and Remedy Productions and Burstall wants to grow to a group with a £100 million turnover within five years.

This will require significant growth and he says several acquisitions are in the works.

“The first step was bringing Leopard and Remedy together and we have done that and are now in the same premises,” he says. “Now we are in advanced discussions with two content creation companies in the UK and we are also talking to other distributors about how we might be able to develop [distribution division] Argonon International. We are talking to distribution companies about joining Argonon as an acquisition.”

The company has private equity backing for its expansion plans and Burstall says that despite the wave of consolidation in the indie sector in recent years, there are plenty of potential acquisition targets out there.

The new people and companies that join the group will all keep their own identities. Burstall says: “It is critically important for them to retain their independence and authorial voice, we do not want to create an environment in which everyone is the same.”

Remedy has an office in Canada and Leopard in the US and North American expansion is another goal. “After we have concluded some of the UK transactions the next step is the US. We are talking to a number of companies there and are interested in those that have been successful in holding on to their IP. There will be at least one acquisition next year.”

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