The # 1 brand worldwide in the bottled carbonated water market, the original site of Perrier natural mineral water in Vergeze, Languedoc in southern France goes back to the times of the Roman Empire. The first commercial spa operation began in 1863. In 1898 Dr Louis Perrier started selling bottled water, a business that was expanded to the British Empire by Englishman St John Harmsworth in 1903. In 1947 a young Parisian broker Gustave Leven modernised the business and by 1954 had garnered the European and French markets with exports to North America beginning in 1976. In 1992 Perrier was acquired by Nestlé. Today Perrier is present in 130 countries.