We want to provide an update on the recent actions we have taken following an evaluation of our capital structure with the objective of enhancing our financial flexibility and liquidity. Our actions have been undertaken with the goal of funding Sears Holdings’ continued transformation while ensuring that we meet all of our obligations.
We announced on Nov. 10, 2014, that our rights offering for up to 40 million shares of Sears Canada Inc. was oversubscribed and generated $380 million in cash proceeds. This afternoon, Nov. 18, 2014, we announced that our rights offering for $625 million of 5-year 8 percent senior unsecured notes with warrants was also oversubscribed, and we expect to receive all such cash proceeds by Nov. 19, 2014.
As of close of business today, Nov. 18, we would have approximately $1.1 billion in availability under our ABL credit facility, if all proceeds from the $625 million rights offering were used to pay down the facility. This capital will be used to support our continued transformation, as well as operational activities during the upcoming holiday and post-holiday season. We would note that our availability would have been $300 million higher had we not reduced our inventory position, and capital needs, by over $1.5 billion year-over-year as we have improved our productivity.
As you can see, we have been able to fund our peak inventory needs while we have demonstrated substantial financial flexibility by enhancing our liquidity and reducing our debt year-over-year. Despite constant misleading reports, all of our vendor and other obligations are being met in due course.
We are not alone. Companies including General Electric, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America have secured capital from third-party investors through similar forms of transactions in order to enhance their financial flexibility. In 2011, Bank of America issued $5 billion in preferred stock with warrants. In 2008, Goldman Sachs sold $5 billion of preferred stock with a 10 percent annual dividend with 5-year warrants to purchase $5 billion of common stock. Also, in 2008, General Electric issued $3 billion in preferred stock with an annual dividend of 10 percent and 5-year warrants to buy $3 billion of common stock.
However, instead of raising capital from third parties, Sears Holdings offered our existing shareholders, via rights offerings, the first opportunity to participate according to their pro rata equity interest, so that all shareholders were treated equally. Since Sears Holdings has existing large shareholders who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to our company, our ability to raise capital in this form is attractive given the level of certainty of execution while also offering all of our shareholders the ability to participate on the same terms. Those shareholders not wanting to participate were free to sell their portion of the opportunity to third parties and to benefit from the value available in excess of the face value of the investment.
We want to thank our shareholders, our members and all of our constituents for continuing to support us during our transformation. We will continue to update you as we progress in our transformation and provide the facts about our financial resources and flexibility through our press releases, our corporate blog and our SEC filings.
Rob Schriesheim is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Sears Holdings.