(Reuters) - EBay Inc is considering spinning out its fast-growing payments unit PayPal as soon as next year, news website The Information reported, citing sources.

EBay shares were up 5 percent at $56.08 on the Nasdaq.

The company has told potential recruits for the position of PayPal CEO about a possible spin-off of the payments unit, the website reported.

PayPal's previous chief executive, David Marcus, left the company in June to run Facebook Inc's messaging products.

Whether eBay has decided to spin off all or part of PayPal, and what structure that could take, remains unclear, the website said.

In January, eBay said that activist investor Carl Icahn had pushed for carving out the payments unit. Icahn backed off from his demand in April, saying that while he supported a PayPal split in the near future, now was not the time.

EBay Chief Executive John Donahoe has consistently said that PayPal was integral to eBay’s business and a split would not make sense.

Some investors, however, feel that an independent PayPal can grow by attracting online retailers wary of rival eBay.

EBay could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Information is a news website founded by former Wall Street Journal technology journalist Jessica Lessin in 2013.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Edwin Chan; editing by Rodney Joyce)