Have we reached peak Brexit uncertainty? Let’s hope so. Regardless of the eventual outcome, it certainly feels like now could be a good time to add some overseas diversification to my rules-based SIF fund.

Happily, my SIF screen has come up trumps this week and delivered a new stock for me to consider. I reckon this company is comfortably removed from the UK economy and offers tempting value.

Ocean Wilsons Holdings (LON:OCN) is one of those interesting and historic businesses you come across on the stock market occasionally. This £400m business is a holding company which runs a portfolio of international investments and a maritime services company in Brazil.

At the heart of the enterprise is Wilson Sons Limited, a Brazilian company founded by two Scottish brothers in 1837.

Wilson Sons Limited started out in shipping and coal. It’s since diversified to become one of Brazil’s largest providers of marine, port and logistics services. The company’s interests include two container terminals, tugboat and offshore support vessels, shipbuilding, and agency services for ship owners.

Alongside this, Ocean Wilsons Holdings also runs what it describes as “a portfolio of international investments”. At the end of 2018, this portfolio was valued at $258m. Judging from this 2017 page on the company’s website, investments are in a mix of equity funds, hedge funds and private equity.

A quick look at the firm’s 2018 results suggests that this group trades at a 25% discount to its sum-of-the-parts valuation. There’s also a 5% dividend yield. Could this unusual company be a bargain buy for the SIF fund?

2018: a mixed year

2018 was not a vintage year for Ocean Wilsons Holdings. Although the container port business delivered a stable performance, towing and offshore operations suffered from soft conditions in the oil and gas industry. This resulted in an increase in cut-price competition.

The group’s investment portfolio suffered too, falling by about 6% as a result of weak global equity performance.

Ocean Wilsons’ headline figures for the year were mixed, with revenue down 7% to $460.2m and operating profit down 9.1% to $99.5m. However, some of this related to foreign exchange losses. And the group still managed an operating margin of 21.6%, versus 22.1% in 2017.

Interestingly, Wilsons Sons announced plans for a strategic review of its container terminal and…

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