Pioneering family-run laundry business supporting Queensland’s most vital industries is ready to expand its operations after a boost from Australia’s only purpose-built growth capital fund.

The Australian Business Growth Fund (ABGF) has today announced its latest investment into Consolidated Linen Service (CLS), a family-run business at the forefront of innovation in the laundry sector and a trusted partner to hundreds of critical Queensland businesses, employing hundreds of Queenslanders.

Photo: Tom Roberts (Group General Manager,  CLS), Neville Roberts (Founder, CLS), and Adam Roberts (Managing Director, CLS).

Established in 1990, CLS operates across large parts of regional Queensland, providing reliable, high-quality laundry and textile rental services to over 700 active customers including those in critical sectors like mining, health, hospitality and aged care.

Many critical industries across regional Queensland would struggle to secure a steady supply of clean, high-quality linen and garments due to the inefficiencies and limited scale of many laundry operators. Through a network of four strategically located laundries in Hervey Bay, Whitsundays, Gladstone, and Rockhampton, combined with decades of local experience, CLS has become an under the radar but trusted partner to the businesses driving Queensland’s economy.

CLS is also an important regional employer, providing jobs to approximately 300 Queenslanders, many of whom are First Nations or come from diverse, multicultural backgrounds.

With local roots and decades of industry experience, Managing Director Adam Roberts, along with brother and Group General Manager Tom Roberts, have always provided the highest quality laundry and textile rental services. It’s because of this that infamous and iconic islands and resorts have trusted CLS as their laundry provider for the past two decades.

Now with ABGF’s $6 million investment injection, CLS is ready to expand its operations and continue investing in new and innovative laundry solutions.

Mr Roberts said the investment will provide the capital needed to help take on more customers across regional Queensland.

“Now is the right time to bring in an investor so we are further equipped to meet the growing demand that is in the market. ABGF’s investment will help fast track our growth while the family stays in control of the business. We are also looking to ABGF as a partner that offers more than just capital; their expertise and contacts will help guide us to make timely, informed decisions.” Mr Roberts said.

Founded by their father Neville Roberts, Adam and his brother Tom have been focused on developing unique solutions using advanced technology.

The company’s co-developed artificial intelligence and robotics programs are helping overhaul what Adam sometimes refers to as an old-fashioned industry.

“We have already seen expanded output through some of our AI and robotics-based solutions. Now we are developing chemical dosing and machine learning programs to further increase efficiency, drive down operating costs, prolong machine life, cut down on chemical usage lifting environmental outcomes, and improve safety,” Mr Roberts said.

ABGF believes in supporting home-grown Australian-operated businesses like CLS who have demonstrated clear growth potential. “ABGF’s investment means CLS can look towards making that important step-change to continue growing. With a proven track record and the increasing demand for laundry and textile rental services, CLS is well positioned to continue supporting Queensland’s most critical industries,” ABGF’s Investment Director, Jack Lin said.

ABGF is Australia’s only purpose-built growth fund dedicated to backing Australian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) reach their full potential, with investments of $5 million to $15 million.

This $6m partnership brings ABGF’s total investments into Australian businesses to over $160 million.

ABOUT ABGF: ABGF is Australia’s only purpose-built growth capital fund dedicated to the SME sector. ABGF is dedicated to investing in Australian entrepreneurs, disruptors and growth-oriented businesses to unlock economic benefits for all Australians. They have $540 million of capital to deploy and have already invested over $160 million into companies that are shaking up Australian industries to solve some of the country’s biggest challenges. Their unique public-private partnership model, facilitated by a powerful alliance between the Federal Government and six leading banks, bridges a critical gap in the market between venture capital and private equity.

ABOUT CLS: CLS is a pioneering, family-run business providing reliable, high-quality laundry and textile rental services for critical industries across large parts of regional Queensland. For more than three decades, CLS has steadily grown, using family knowledge and local connections developed over two generations to become a trusted partner to over 700 active customers across regional Queensland. Through four main facilities located in Hervey Bay, Whitsundays, Gladstone, and Rockhampton, CLS provides laundry and textile rental services as well as direct linen sales. CLS continues to be an important regional employer providing jobs to approximately 300 Queenslanders. The business has also at the forefront of innovation having co-developed leading technological solutions, including robotics and artificial intelligence programs, which it is currently implementing.

For media enquiries or interview requests, contact:
Trisca Scott-Branagan
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ABGF’s investment lead for CLS

Jack Lin

Jack Lin

Investment Director, Australian Business Growth Fund

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