* Looks at converting business into REIT
* Jana Partners had recommended a spinoff
May 3 (Reuters) - Oilfield services provider Oil States International Inc, bowing to pressure from top shareholder Jana Partners LLC, said it was considering spinning off its accommodations business, possibly through a real estate investment trust (REIT).
The accommodations business, which provides housing for energy industry workers in remote locations in Canada, the United States and Australia, accounted for a quarter of Oil States’ 2012 revenue of $4.41 billion.
Revenue from the business has more than doubled since 2010, when Oil States expanded Australian operations by acquiring MAC Services Group for $638 million.
Half of Oil States’ 2012 operating income of $684 million came from the business.
Activist investor Jana said in a regulatory filing on Monday that it had held talks with Oil States about separating the business. Jana, headed by Barry Rosenstein, has a 9.1 percent stake in Oil States, according to the filing.
The investment fund has also lobbied for changes at companies such as Agrium Inc and Marathon Petroleum Corp.
Oil States, with a market capitalization of $5.06 billion, is a diversified services company, which provides well site services, distributes pipes and builds offshore equipment.
Oil States shares have risen about 22 percent since Jana disclosed the stake on Monday.
The stock closed at $91.99 on Thursday.