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Press Release -- June 17th, 2020
Source: Champion ONE
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Champion ONE Merges with Approved Networks

Combination creates one of the world’s largest independent optics players with expanded product offerings and broader addressable market

Cleveland, OH, and Orange County, CA, June 17, 2020 – Champion ONE, a leading designer, marketer, and supplier of optical networking components worldwide, today announced its merger with Approved Networks (“Approved”) and its affiliate, U.S. Critical, two recognized leaders in the programming, testing, and distribution of network solutions. The newly combined company will be one of the world’s largest independent optics companies, providing both open network and highly-customized optical solutions to the global market’s leading telecommunication service providers, as well as to data centers and U.S. government agencies, among others.

The combined entity, which will continue to operate under the Champion ONE, Approved and U.S. Critical brands, will be headed by Pete Kirchof, Champion ONE’s Executive Chairman. Kurt Dunteman, Approved Networks’ Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, will serve as Chief Revenue Officer of the unified company.

The company will feature expanded product offerings – including TAA-compliant custom cabling and connection points – and exceptional customer diversification, with improved access to the enterprise and data center sectors. Further, the company will leverage its growing team of highly-trained professionals and its experienced executive leadership to service its domestic and international customer base.

Kirchof noted that, “Similar to Champion ONE, Approved Networks has achieved significant growth since its inception, in large part due to its commitment to listening to customers and delivering consistent operational excellence. The decision to merge the companies was based not only on the compelling business synergies, but by the exceptional cultural fit, shared operational ethos, and relentless dedication to customer service.”

“A large part of Approved Networks’ success has been the company’s ability to identify and take advantage of targeted, strategic growth opportunities, and it became clear that a partnership with Champion ONE would create greater value for our clients and stakeholders,” said Dunteman. “This is exciting news that means enhanced programming, testing and engineering capabilities; redundant lab operations on both the East and West Coast; and increasing growth opportunities for our employees, while providing expanded product breadth and domain expertise to our customers.”

About Champion ONE

Champion ONE is a designer, marketer, and supplier of optical networking components worldwide. Founded in 1992, Champion ONE is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, with additional offices in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Omaha, and Silicon Valley. The company provides high-performance, mission-critical open networking solutions for domestic and international telecommunications providers and category-leading businesses across both public and private sectors. For more information, visit https://www.championone.com/.

About Approved Networks

Approved Networks is an industry leader and authority in the programming, testing, and distribution of high-quality OEM alternative optics. Founded in 2010, Approved Networks is headquartered in Orange County, California with an additional office in Leesburg, Virginia. The company provides networking solutions that are backed by best-in-class engineering and testing – offering technical, logistical, and sales support to discerning global enterprises operating in the toughest networking environments. For more information, visit https://approvednetworks.com/.

About U.S. Critical

U.S. Critical operates the most advanced independent optical networking and connectivity test lab in North America – providing procurement, programming, testing and packaging expertise to enterprise and cloud data center customers around the world. Founded in 2001, U.S. Critical’s vertically integrated business model is ideally suited for delivering world-class quality and reliability at production volumes while providing industry leadership on critical next generation technologies. For more information, visit  https://www.uscritical.com/.

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Liz Holman
Gaffney Bennett
LHolman@GBPR.com

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