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Aimia Inc. AIM-T has signed a deal to swap its 20 per cent stake in AirAsia’s loyalty company Biglife for $31.2 million worth of shares of AirAsia.

Under the deal, Aimia will receive 85.86-million AirAsia shares, representing a 2.2 per cent stake in the company in exchange for its stake in the airline’s loyalty program.

Aimia says that combined with AirAsia shares it already owns that it will own a 3.1 per cent stake once the deal is complete.

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Aimia CEO Phil Mittleman says by swapping its stake in Biglife for AirAsia shares the company can benefit from what it believes is significant upside in the shares, with the added benefit of liquidity.

The Biglife deal is subject to AirAsia’s shareholders’ approval which is expected to occur before the end of May.

Aimia has transformed itself into a holding company since selling its flagship Aeroplan program back to Air Canada in 2019.

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