Luxury goods supremo Bernard Arnault (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey (LVMH)) has announced that he is looking to simplify his corporate structure, particularly as regards the firm's relationship with Christian Dior.

Whilst at the listed, multi-billion end of the corporate spectrum such restructurings are required to please the stock-markets: at the lower, privately-owned end, such restructurings should not be overlooked either.

When considering a sale transaction, a business has to consider how it looks to acquirors, be they stock-market traders and funds or trade businesses looking to acquire the entire corporate entity.

Whilst there are frequently good reasons (and even more frequently bad or simply overlooked and forgotten reasons) for having a more complex corporate structure, overall the slightly clichéd maxim of 'the simpler the better' holds firmly true in M&A. Complexity leads at worse to mis-understanding or caution, and at best to lengthy questions about why: to which the answers may, or may not, be deemed satisfactory.

As part of any pre-transaction assessment of a business, a key question to ask is 'how will my structure (tax, legal, corporate, management, etc.) look to an outside party?'

In order to ensure a smooth transaction, an acquiror has to be able (frequently at a cursory initial glance) to understand how the business operates. Making this as simple as possible should be at the forefront of any director's or shareholder's mind should a sale be envisaged in the future.