Sagamore acquires Icehouse, installs new kit

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Promotional solutions company Sagamore Industries is making major investments, acquiring Icehouse Sampling, and installing new equipment, which MD Chris Bristow says will enable it to service the broader print industry.

Serve print industry: Chris Bristow
Serve print industry: Chris Bristow

With the acquisition of Icehouse Sampling, Sagamore now employs 40 full time staff across Melbourne and Western Sydney. It will continue to operate from the two locations. 

Investment in new equipment has included a WM 1200A automatic grooving machine with gluing component, from Wellmark Packaging, a Datien 137cm guillotine, and an Eykon 2513FB flatbed printer from Agfa.

Managing director Chris Bristow says the investment and acquisition will ramp up Sagamore’s existing offerings, and provide new ones to the broader printing industry. 

“We identified an opportunity in the market for larger format semi-automatic casemaking machines, above the 600mm width, that would both benefit the production of our larger ring binders, folders and sample books for existing customers – particularly with the recent business acquisition of Icehouse Sampling – and to service the broader printing industry for larger, automated case making solutions,” he said. 

The Melbourne based company is replacing its “very old” Kolbus casemaker with the new auto groover and gluer, which was self-installed last month, and Bristow says will deliver clean, sharp folds for casemade boards. 

Bristow pointed out that the decision to purchase leading sample manufacturers Icehouse Sampling, which operates within Australia and New Zealand, was a logical one. Sagamore was particularly interested in working with Icehouse Sampling as the crossover between the two company was impressive. It already has a lot of the machinery – and know how –to produce Icehouse Sampling’s specialist samples on textiles and PVC, furnishing, paint & decorative finishes, carpets & vinyls, paper & boards, metals and even grout. 


Alongside the new WM 1200A sits a new Datien 137cm guillotine, which enables fast and accurate guillotining of the company's board blanks prior to grooving. To see a video of the WM 1200A, click here.

The company has also upgraded its flatbed printing capacity. “We acquired an Eykon 2513FB flatbed printer from Agfa that delivers a faster and cleaner print offering a higher resolution output, making smaller CMYK print runs efficient and economical,” added Bristow, explaining that the flatbed's ability to print white on opaque substrates and produce clearer images is perfect for printing diary covers, a niche service offered by custom diary manufacturer Product Dynamics, also owned by Sagamore.

The Icehouse Sampling buisness will remain a stand-alone operation, Bristow said, “We're not centralising the business in any way shape or form. However, what we are doing as part of the integration is to ensure that both sides can expand capability to their fullest potential. We are able to do a lot more of Icehouse's specialised sampling work down here. And conversely, they may be able to do some of what I call the 'legacy Sagamore work' up there, depending on where the customer is."

He confirmed that with the acquisition both sets of customers will be offered services across a broader geographic region.

Sagamore was founded by Dan Siemens in 1958, and originally specialised in manufacturing insect screens for the protection of car radiators. It has since been a privately-owned, family business as is currently owned by the family of Philip Allen, who joined the business in 1975, and is now executive director. 

Bristow, who is second generation family, became managing director two years ago, with Allen handing over the reins of daily operation.

Bristow says that the business “will continue to evolve as it transitions to where it sees the market is heading”. 

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