Oil and gas giant Hess (HES) said it is considering a potential spin-off of its retail business as it responds to pressure by activist investor Elliot Management, according to a securities filing from Wednesday.

The New York-based company said it got the nod from the Internal Revenue Service to distribute the retail business, which includes its gas stations and more than 1,000 convenience stores, to stockholders in a tax-free spin-off.

Hess says it will also solicit offers from other potential buyers and determine which best serves the long-term interest of shareholders.

The company last year agreed to exit the retail gas business by 2015, bowing to pressure from Elliott Management to shed assets and streamline the business.

Shares of Hess were up about 0.41% to $81.19 in recent trade. They are up 46% over the last 12 months.

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