Europe's largest satellite manufacturer has announced an agreement to purchase a majority stake in the continent's leading developer of smallsats. EADS Astrium will acquire 80 percent of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) for an estimated £40-50 million (US$80-100 million), the companies reported Monday. Astrium is best known as a manufacturer of large government and commercial satellites, including GEO communications satellites. SSTL, by contrast, builds small satellites weighing no more than a few hundred kilograms. SSTL was spun out of the University of Surrey in the UK, and it is university that is cashing out its stake in the company. SSTL will remain a separate operating entity with with access to the greater resources of Astrium. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.