We estimate private benefits of control in 39 countries using 393 controlling blocks sales. On average the value of control is 14 percent, but in some countries can be as low as –4 percent, in others as high a +65 percent. As predicted by theory, higher private benefits of control are associated with less developed capital markets, more concentrated ownership, and more privately negotiated privatizations. We also analyze what institutions are most important in curbing private benefits. We find evidence for both legal and extra-legal mechanisms. In a multivariate analysis, however, media pressure and tax enforcement seem to be the dominating factors.