Liberation, the paper that has been a bastion of the French left for three decades, has been given six months to resolve its financial troubles.
Liberation has suffered some high-profile editorial departures recently
The paper, whose founders included writer Jean-Paul Sartre, has seen its circulation slide in recent years as its losses have mounted.
It has now sought protection from its creditors under a debt-freeze procedure similar to Chapter 11 in the US.
This gives the paper some breathing space to reorganise its finances.
The paper, whose main shareholder is banking scion Edouard de Rothschild, will be run by existing management and a court appointed official over the next six months.
"The day-to-day activity of the Liberation team will not be affected," the paper assured its readers in an article on Thursday.