I analyse the effect of ownership structure and bank control on performance. I employ a unique data set of 715 German takeovers to test whether group structure, large shareholders, and bank control affect their value to shareholders. First, I find that takeovers increase bidder value, but generally not that of the business group surrounding it. Second, majority owners provide no clear benefit. Third, bank control is only beneficial if it is counter-balanced by another large shareholder. Fourth, the worst takeovers are completed by firms that are majority-controlled by financial institutions.