The recession continues to be no barrier to acquisitions with the news that PGP Corporation has reached into its pockets to buy German encryption services company TC TrustCenter.

As usual, because the companies involved, including TC TrustCenter's US parent ChosenSecurity, are private, the sums involved has not been made public. The 75-person TC TrustCenter will continue as a division of PGP, however, with its own head and retaining its own branding.

Despite both being encryption specialists, the two don't appear to overlap to a great degree. PGP's products are oriented towards conventional business use of encryption for policy, device and encryption key distribution security, while TC TrustCenter provides managed encryption services such as digital signatures for secure transactions.

Although remaining parallel brands, TC TrustCenter's services will now be integrated with PGP's lower-level technology.

"With its acquisition of TC TrustCenter and ChosenSecurity, PGP Corporation is establishing itself as a provider of globally trusted identities for not only its own applications, but other high value applications and transactions," said Jon Oltsik of Enterprise Strategy Group, on behalf of PGP. "PGP Corporation now owns an enabling technology for secure trusted Internet communications."

This should see PGP take on digital certificate giants such as the VeriSign, a sign of considerable ambition given that company's tight hold on profitable market.

"Trusted identities are a crucial component for data protection solutions that secure sensitive data," said PGP Corporation CEO, Phillip Dunkelberger, hinting at such a strategy. "With this acquisition, PGP Corporation is gaining an extensible platform that will dramatically accelerate its vision of delivering integrated data protection across vendors, technologies, and devices."

There have been small but steady trickle of private-on-private acquisitions, the most prominent of which was probably M86 Security's buyout of Israeli company, Finjan , in November. Others, including Fortinet and Sophos, have looked at IPOs as a means of growth in relatively difficult times.