Ron Howard’s Production Company, Imagine, Could Be Sold for $800M or More Soon: Report

by Joe Rutland

Ron Howard and his business partner, Brian Grazer, might be selling their Imagine Entertainment company soon for $800 million or more.

According to a story from Variety, potential buyers include a Middle East wealth fund, international banks, and a domestic private equity firm.

Ron Howard and Grazer have been involved in producing movies for almost 40 years. Among the films produced under the Imagine umbrella include “Apollo 13,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “8 Mile,” and “Backdraft.” The company’s TV series involvement includes “Arrested Development,” “Friday Night Lights,” and “24.”

Ron Howard Company Received Influx Of Capital Back In 2016

Imagine did receive an influx of cash to keep growing in 2016. They received $100 million in capital from Raine Group. That let Imagine expand its reach into kids and family content, documentaries and non-fiction, international and live theater projects.

Ron Howard has spent his entire life in the world of entertainment. He gained notoriety as Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show.” Then Howard starred in “Happy Days” as Richie Cunningham. But he already was turning his eyes toward his dream, which was to be a film director. Howard would take a Super 8 film camera around and film different sets and people from his shows.

A spokesperson for Imagine Entertainment had no comment about the Variety report. But Imagine looks like it is becoming part of the ongoing M&A conversations in Hollywood.

Movie Director Received Solid Advice From ‘Happy Days’ Creator Garry Marshall

While Ron Howard acted on “Happy Days,” he picked up some solid advice from the show’s creator, Garry Marshall.

Now Marshall did more than create “Happy Days.” He also created the TV version of Neil Simon’s play “The Odd Couple.” Marshall also oversaw spinoffs from “Happy Days” in “Laverne & Shirley” and “Mork and Mindy.”

But Howard remembered what Marshall told him one time about show business.

“Garry became one of these guiding forces, and not just creatively,” Howard said to “Entertainment Tonight” in an interview in July 2016. “Because Garry Marshall, as successful as he was – whether it was stage, big screen – his mantra to anyone who was beginning to succeed in the business was simple. He said, ‘This is great. It’s fantastic. But don’t ever forget that life is more important than show business.'”

“And he lived that,” Howard said. “And you could see it demonstrated in the choices he made.”

Marshall died of complications from pneumonia after a stroke. He was 81.

While he was also a legendary producer and director, Marshall was an actor too. He appeared as a recurring character on “Murphy Brown” and guest-starred on “Monk” and “ER.” Marshall wrote plays like “Wrong Turn at Lungfish” and “The Roast.” He also would direct operas, according to Variety.