British production group Argonon has acquired production company Like A Shot Entertainment and expanded its US team as it looks to grow its international business

The firm, run by Cash In The Attic creator James Burstall, has bought Like A Shot, the firm founded by Henry Scott and Steve Gillham and responsible for series including Science Channel U.S.’ Abandoned Engineering and Discovery’s Witness to War. Like A Shot specialises in international presales, co-production and acquisition-based relationships with broadcasters.

Managing Director Scott said that joining Argonon, which operates 11 production companies, was a “brilliant” opportunity to gain access to new markets and to exploit its IP internationally.

Argonon Chief Operating Officer Laura Bessell added: “After exceeding our first five year goals, Argonon is now a year into its second phase of growth. With IP and maximising distribution rights at the heart of what we do, welcoming Like A Shot to the Group will further enable us to expand our network and use new ways of creating production, funding, IP and distribution opportunities. Henry and his team are poised for further success stories and increased scale with Argonon’s support.”

Elsewhere, Argonon, which operates U.S. production company Leopard USA, the firm behind DIY Networks’ Big Beach Builds and HGTV’s House Hunters International, is looking to grow its North American business with the hire of Shirley Escott as Chief Operating Officer. She will work with Leopard and New York-based start-up Tough Cookie and will report to Burstall and Bessell. She joins from The Men Who Built America producer Stephen David Entertainment, where she was EVP, Production.

Burstall said: “Shirley is a very warm and committed senior executive with deep roots in the U.S. production community, which will help the group evolve and grow. Her international expertise across all scale of budget, staff size and productions means she is the perfect fit to help Argonon further build on our presence in the US.”