H1B expired in 2012 - Am I eligible for a transfer?

I had my H1b with company ABC from October 2009 till November 2012. I went back to India in January 2012 itself, as Company A was out of business.

I now work for company XYZ in India which is willing to sponsor my H1B only under certain circumstances. I need answers to the following question:

  1. Can XYZ initiate my H1B transfer? (They are under an impression that its been more than 6 years since 2008, so they cant initiate). I believe they can, but I wanted a confirmation before I strongly go back to them. Also, would it be processed like a normal case or quota/lottery system?

  2. What exactly is Cap exempt? I read it everywhere but I am eligible for it? I have a masters degree from the US if that info helps.

  3. Do I have to be in the US while XYZ initiates my H1B transfer? I also have a valid B1 visa.