As U.S. corporations and private equity firms cast ever-widening geographic nets to find acquisition targets, Europe is proving to be a fertile spawning pool. The continent is teeming with middle-market companies that yearn to grow outside their home markets, and they're looking for investors from across the pond to help them.

A prime example is found in Reima Oy, a children's wear brand founded in 1944 in Vantaa, Finland. The company had long been known in Northern Europe for making high-quality outdoor clothing, which it sells under brands including Reima, Lassie and Tutta. But the company wanted to increase its presence in Russia and expand into further-flung cold-weather regions, including Beijing, which boasts a population well over 15 million. The company also lacked an e-commerce strategy, and the brands were in need of design updates.

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