Tuffnells owner Connect Group is to sell its care and education division in order to focus on the growth of its parcels and news services.

Connect will sell the division to education resource provider RM for £64.4m, including £56.5m cash and deficit of £7.9m.

The group said the move will reduce its borrowings and allow it to grow its news and media division, Smiths News, and its parcels operation (Tuffnells).

Connect Group bought Tuffnells and its famed “big green parcel machines” in late 2014, and has since been the driving force behind a strong performance from its new parent company.

In the 20 weeks ended 21 January 2017, Connect Group recorded 0.2% like-for-like turnover growth, while Tuffnells’ turnover grew by 5.2%.

Connect Group chief executive Mark Cashmore said: “We have concluded that the disposal represents the right option for the group, the division and our strategy.

“The disposal will provide the group with greater financial flexibility as we continue to drive our operational priorities and growth strategy,” he added.

Sale of the care and education branch of the business, which supplies consumable goods to 30,000 customers in the care and education sectors, is subject to approval from the Competition and Markets Authority.

The branch accounted for £6.7m of Connect Group's pre-tax profit of £41.9m in the year ended 31 August 2016.